Friday, February 21, 2014

Original Tommy's Chili Recipe

Tommy's Original Chili-Cheeseburger Recipe.
I've now been to over eleven countries, and still today my favorite hamburger that I've ever tasted comes from a little restaurant in Los Angeles called Tommy's. "If you don't see the shack, take it back."- was their mantra referring to the tiny red building on all their signs and homage to the original Tommy's location that this burger legend began from.

Named after its inventor: Tommy Koulax, the Tommy's Original chili cheese burger is as much of a part of Los Angeles as the Hollywood sign is. Indeed, the location on Hollywood Boulevard became my second home while living in Southern California. Tommy's is famous for one thing in particular: their chili. It's a robust, tangy combination of chili that's undeniable the world's best condiment chili. You can get it on a cheeseburger, french fries, or even a sausage breakfast sandwich in the morning; however, you can't get any of this if you don't live in California (or Vegas). For a longtime, I like many of my fellow displaced Los Angeleans, craved a Tommy's Burger without a way of subduing the addiction. Then one day I entered the kitchen, and I didn't come out till I fabricated the perfect clone to Tommy's World Famous Hamburgers. This latest version of the recipe is the best tasting version I've ever made, and I hope it will help you, my friends, out there on the internet to end your chili suffering.
Original Tommy's Chili Recipe v3 
  • 3 LB (48 ounces) of Ground Beef (80/20% fat content) 
  • 1 can of beef broth (13-14.5 oz)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 Tablespoons of Masa flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoon of onion flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cumin (I prefer it without).
  1. Brown beef in a large pan, do not drain fat.
  2. Reduce heat and add all seasonings but flour, including water and broth.
  3. Add flour in tablespoon quantities, mixing chili as you go.
  4. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Some readers have suggested that food processing the ground beef before cooking it, to a finer consistency, results in a more similar texture at Tommy's (who likely uses beef trimmings rather than ground beef). In previous versions of this recipe, we also used flash frozen (real beef) patties to arrive at the desired "feel", though neither of these methods effect the taste, it's for my beloved OCD Tommy fans to be aware of, if they wish to take it  the extra mile.

The Secret to Chili-burger Success:

I take no responsibility if you go mucking up perfection, so be-careful chili-warrior in your quest for
the perfect chili-burger.
At this point I think we need to discuss how to construct a proper burger. In this case you need to be thinking "double cheese" unless you have some medical rubber band around your stomach whereby this recipe is sure to kill you. In fact, a trick I learned here in the south is to plop a huge 1/2 inch thick slice of melted Velveeta on the sandwich. Try it, you can thank me later.
Think of the Mustard as a salad dressing. You want it around your vegetables to bring out their taste. The onions should be placed on top of the chili so that the heat can permeate into them and release their oniony goodness. I should also note, on this type of burger the onions should be diced not sliced. On a chili burger, the onion should be white, yellow, or sweet.
One last note is pickles: DILL people, DILL! If you're one of those people who adorns their burger art with some other variation of pickle on their burger, then I'm forced to wish you ill, and that your sexual organs dry up and become sterile (Just kidding, I'll still love you... I just won't understand your wicked ways). I remember going into restaurants as a child and occasionally getting a burger that had been randomly assembled with a sweet pickle. Oh, no... no, no... I weep tears of sorrow for those who adore such blasphemous pickles.
Good luck and Godspeed.

Now where did I put those Cascabella peppers?