Salisbury House Chili (Copycat)
There is a local restaurant chain in my city called Salisbury House, affectionately known by locals as Sals – its been around forever. Started during the days of vaudeville when a vaudevillian entertainer passing through town noted that there was no place to eat at 4 in the morning, and saw a business opportunity for a 24 hour diner. He opened one restaurant, basically a shack with a “little red roof” – the roof became the restaurant’s trademark – and, it grew from there. Almost a century later, Salisbury House continues to thrive, and most of them still have “the little red roof”. Great little diner, with really good food. Their Chili is amazing – best I’ve ever had, anywhere. EVER. Very unique taste to it.
Some time ago, I found this in my local paper:
“Grant Frederick had asked if anyone had a clone recipe for Salisbury House chili. Ruth Thomas wrote that she attended a Huron Carole Festival at The Forks in the late 1980s, where Salisbury House was serving chili and handing out the recipe, and she kindly sent me a copy. Thanks also to Florence Bouchard, who had a copy of the same recipe as published in the Free Press a number of years ago”.
Now, between you and me, this ain’t the real recipe. Nice try Sals. Like they were really going to start distributing the secret recipe for their infamous chili. Yeah, right. Anyway, its nonetheless a good Chili recipe. Notice it contained brewed coffee – that part is definitely spot-on. I always noticed their chili had a mild coffee taste, but I just assumed it was from the strong aroma of coffee that always fills their diners. It really is an interesting addition to a chili recipe that adds some very delicious flavour when it blends with the other ingredients. This photo really doesn’t do it justice – I’ll have to snap another pic next time I’m there (shown here its over top a pork chop with melted cheese – gotta get a shot of it a la carte, or on their Chili Nip. Now we’re talkin’…
Funny thing is, the recipe calls for kidney beans, but truth be told, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen or detected a bean in Salisbury house Chili – ever. Nice try there, Sals. I do believe its a bean-less chili, so next time I make it, I’m going to omit the beans and see if it brings us a little closer. And its also important to note that this Chili should have a very fine consistency, so no big chunks! Crumble the beef very well and dice ingredients very finely.
Hey, if you’re a local Salisbury House lover, scroll down the page to drop me a comment and let me know you were here 🙂
1 kg (2 lbs) ground beef
200 g (1 1/4 cups) onions, minced
675 ml (2 3/4 cups) regular brewed coffee
675 ml (2 3/4 cups) tomato sauce
100 g (6 tbsp) tomato paste
35 g (4 tbsp) chili powder
4 ml (3/4 tsp) curry powder
10 g (6 tbsp leaves) oregano
3 ml (2/3 tsp) ground cumin
3 ml (2/3 tsp) ground coriander
500 ml (2 cups) beef stock
30 g (4 tbsp) jalapeno peppers, diced
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) pepper
10 g (1 tbsp) sugar
1 kg (2 lbs or 5 3/4 cups) cooked kidney beans
200 g (1 1/2 cups) celery, diced
200 g (1 1/2 cups) green pepper, diced
Brown beef in large heavy pan. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add coffee, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, curry powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, beef stock and jalapeno peppers. Simmer gently for one hour. Add salt, pepper and sugar and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add the beans, green pepper, and celery and simmer for another 10 minutes.
WFP Taste Tester Notes: This makes good chili, but I have to say mine turned out very hot and spicy. I would try using only half the amount of chili powder and jalapeno peppers to start, and then taste after it had simmered for a while and add more at that time if desired.