The Structure of Black Hole Chili

The Structure of Black Hole Chili

by Alwyn Wootten

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Groupie, 1978 Luckenbach Ladies World Chili Championship

THE RECIPE The Brides of Black Hole Chili team entered their chili in the 1978 Luckenbach Ladies World Championship Chili Cookoff, where it garnered sixth place. The recipe had evolved from the first attempts at the Marble Falls Chili Cookoff some years before, where it was concocted by Flash Bruhweiler and Sonny Day. This is a lot, and can feed 50-75 people if sufficiently hot chili is prepared.

7.5 lb meat - tough meat such as chuck, defatted and deboned. This is a lot, and can feed 50-75 people if sufficiently hot chili is prepared. 9 (or more) garlic cloves, chopped or mashed fine Olive Oil or a mixture of olive oil and sesame oil, 5:1

Combine the oil, garlic and meat and cook till brown. If you didn't realize that the meat must be in 1 cm cubes, start cutting.

25 japone peppers, large red and dried.

Start deseeding (the seeds are too hot) and boil in a few quarts of water until they are soft, then scrape the inside pulp out. Add to meat mixture when the meat begins to brown, reserving the chili water. 14 chili pequine peppers - squashed with a hammer. Add to chili.

Now add 2.5 cups water or beer, plus 1.5 cups of the water you boiled the peppers in, and simmer slowly in the pot for 80 minutes while you win moseyin' and egg toss contests, and just generally fall down a lot.

Now let your chili settle and the grease rise so that you can skim discard it (the grease, not the meat).

Dispense with all remaining sobriety.


Gather the team and groupies together for this ceremony. This is the point to go all out for showmanship, so ham it up. Hopefully you have ground the following spices freshly, so that laborious grinding processes do not sap the climax of its power.


8 tablespoons ground cominos (cumin) - group chants praises of cumin

6 tablespoons ground oregano - praise the oregano somewhat more loudly

4 tablespoons ground coriander - some of the women may swoon

1.5 teaspoons cayenne pepper from a flask labelled 'paprika'

1 tablespoon salt (add half this at first, increment as necessary

1 tablespoon tabasco - accompanied by loud chants and holy rollin

8 tablespoons or more paprika, from a container prominently labelled 'cayenne pepper' - accompanied by a crescendo of frenzied shouting and counting of tablespoons. If your team can still count high enough, add 24 teaspoons instead.

4 oz tomato paste after the hubbub has died down and no judges are looking. Remember, real men do not put vegetables in their chili.

1 tsp exotic spice could be added here, too. At Luckenbach, the Brides of Black Hole added mint and epizote. No one knew, or knows yet, what epizote is. The more obscure the spice, the better.

0.5 tbl masa harina - or less, to thicken the chili if it is too thin. This must be added last.

Cook 10 more minutes

Open up a beer and dish up a bowl 'o' red.

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Next: About this document Al Wootten
Tue Aug 8 10:48:22 EDT 1995