Thursday, June 13, 2013
CARROLL SHELBY’S CHILI KIT
Carroll Shelby of “A.C. Cobra and Ford Mustang’, fame had another passion besides racing. He was a world class chili competitor. He is one of the original founders of the “Texas Terlingua World Chili Championship” competition. In 1972 he cashed in on his fame and created “Original Texas Brand Chili Mix”. This recipe was based on his award winning chili. In 1986 Carroll Shelby sold his brand to Reily Foods. It has been rumored that the recipe has changed since. This chili mix has been around for a long time and I have never tried it. Lately there has been a buzz surrounding this mix and it was time to give it a try.
A trip to our local Wally-Mart found our chili kit.. The packaging of this chili kit blended in with the multitude of other chili mixes on the shelf. It was kind of embarrassing and I probably will have to burn my “Man Card” but I had to ask a clerk for directions. I took a glance at the box labeling and instructions.. The expiration date on this box was dated January 22, 2015. This raised a flag because I believe all chili spices should be as fresh as possible.How old was this box? The kit also claimed it was ‘All Natural’ and gluten free. The chili making process seemed very simple and fast. Thirty five minutes will be the fastest chili I have ever made.Other ingredients that are needed were water, tomato sauce and two pounds of meat. The cost of this mix was unbelievably cheap; $2.99.
I am the first to admit that following instructions can be a challenge. We wanted to experience this chili the way it was meant to taste so we will comply with all directions. The mix does give options of salt, corn flour and cayenne pepper each wrapped in separate pouches. The amount of cayenne is barely ¼ teaspoon. This is an amount that Ms. Goofy puts on her corn flake in the morning.. The salt package is approximately two teaspoons. This is not an excessive amount but if you are watching your salt intake it is nice to have that option. The corn flour is to be used as a thickener and will add a flavor component. We used about half of the masa (corn flour) to change the chili texture from soupy to thick and hearty. The meat was browned and the main spice package, salt, and cayenne were added. I tasted the main spice package. It was sweet. I also tasted cumin, salt, and chili powder. Water and tomato sauce were added for a 15 minute simmer. Cooked black beans were added for 5 more minutes. A slurry of the masa flour and water was added to finish.
Our chili was served over rice. “Drum roll please!” This was a good looking bowl of red. Ms. Goofy loved it. She said it was well balanced and had a lot of chili flavor. I thought if was very decent and enjoyed it. Was it award winning chili? No, but it made for a hearty satisfying dinner. In my opinion the actual chili flavor was lacking. I want to taste chile and all of its glorious flavor and heat. The mix of chili, cumin and sugar was on the sweet side. The spice packets use no preservatives (good thing) and I am wondering about freshness and shelf life. The optional cayenne heat was barely noticeable. This was the fastest chili I have ever made. Overall Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit is a convenient, quick, decent tasting way to make chili.