A 1982 Chili Recipe from Cuisine Magazine

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Over the past couple months, I have received numerous emails from readers about finding old Sphere/Cuisine recipes from the past.  As my loyal readers know, I collect these old, wonderful magazines because the recipes are outstanding.  As I was looking for a cake recipe someone had requested, I came across this rather strange chili recipe.  I have not made it yet, but it sounds very intriguing.  Since there seems to be a deep freeze across the country this week, and very much so here in the Chicago area, chili sounds like a good option for a meal this weekend.  Like I said, I have not made this recipe yet, but if anyone feels adventurous this weekend and wants to make it, please let me know how it turns out! 

Ginger Ale Chili

2 Tablespoons rendered bacon fat
2 cups finely chopped onions
3/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
3-1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1-1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
2 bay leaves
2 pounds ground beef
1 can (1 lb. 12 oz.) imported plum tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup ginger ale
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark rum
2 cans (20 ounces each) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1.  Heat bacon fat in large heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until rippling.  Add onions, saute until just softened, 2-3 minutes.  Add green peppers and garlic; saute until peppers are just softened, 2-3 minutes.  Add chili powder, cumin, dry mustard, hot red pepper flakes, curry powder, rosemary, and bay leaves, stirring to combine.  Add ground beef; saute, stirring to break up any lumps, until meat loses all traces of red, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, ginger ale, wine, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper; heat over medium heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, about 45 minutes.
2.  Add ketchup and rum to pan; continue to simmer about 15 minutes.  Stir in beans; remove from heat.  Let chili cool, then refrigerate for 2-3 days to blend flavors.  Remove bay leaves before serving.  Makes 8-10 servings. 

17 Responses to A 1982 Chili Recipe from Cuisine Magazine

  1. October 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    You may be my last chili hope! I’ve been looking all over the web for news of the deceased Cuisine magazine and can’t find ANYTHING, except mentions of a New Zealand magazine of the same name.

    In the old (U.S.) Cuisine was a recipe for authentic chili (“Southwestern Chili”?) that I seem to recall had only a very few ingredients, something along the lines of:

    freshly toasted cumin seeds, ground
    beef stock
    chili powder

    I’m sure that’s not quite right, but it’s close. Do you have this in your archives? I keep searching my back records but can’t find it anywhere!



    • October 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      Hi Glen – I will do my best to find the recipe for you. I, too, have found that the recipes from the old Sphere and Cuisine are not available online, which is too bad because they are so wonderful. I will email you right away if I find your chili recipe!

  2. October 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    I used to subscribe to Cuisine…I looked forward to it ea. month. 1 particular issue always stood out to me. Though I cant remember the cover… I remember my fave recipe. It was called “The corner bistros gingerale chili”…I hope this is that same recipe because I made it every winter…ALL WINTER…by far the best chili I ever ate. I’ve been searching for this recipe for God knows how long 15 yrs at least and am extremely excited to make it once again!!!!! Thank you very much!!!!!

    • October 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      I hope this is the chili recipe you have been searching for! Please let me know if it’s the one and it’s as good as you remember!

    • April 24, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

      I too have been making this recipe since 1982. It is the best chili recipe with real depth of flavor. I love it.

      • April 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

        Popular recipe for a long time!

    • October 2, 2017 at 9:17 am #

      This is my favorite chili recipe. I’ve been making it for years. The cover had something with raspberries on it (i think). The flavors are so complex. It’s wonderful.

  3. October 28, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    I have been trying to find the fruitcake recipes from an OLD Cuisine magazine. It had James Beard on the front and back covers! I believe it was from 1985-1987. Could you possibly help? It would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Sandy Martin

    • October 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      Sandy, I have that issue and it is one of my favorites because of the James Beard front and back! In fact, I had them framed. I will go find it and get back to you as soon as I can.

      • October 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

        Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! Also,thanks for getting back so quickly. Looking forward to hearing from you.
        Sandy Martin

        • October 28, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

          Sandy, I sent you an email!

  4. June 23, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    I’ve been searching for this recipe forever! The version I remember was written up by Bert Greene and was the recipe for the chili at
    Corner Bistro in NY, which I remember fondly from my college days at NYU in the ’70s. Thank you for sharing it — you have a new fan!

    • June 24, 2015 at 12:05 am #

      Hi Tyler- You made my day! I’m so glad you came across the recipe. I am a huge Bert Greene fan and have written several blogs about him. I can only imagine life in the ’70’s eating chili at Corner Bistro and attending NYU. I bet you have a lot of stories to tell! Thanks so much for writing. Enjoy the chili!

  5. September 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    OMG I’ve been looking for this recipe forever! I made it for my coworkers long before I got married and one of them became my husband. (You know… the way to a mans heart)
    It is a different and delicious recipe. Thank you for publishing it.

    • September 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

      Kathi, I love to hear stories like yours! I’m so happy you found the recipe. You are not the first one to write me about it since I first posted it several years ago. I think it was very popular at the time. I hope your husband remembers it!

  6. December 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a Cuisine recipe for seafood stuffed pasta shells – my guess is that it’s from 1983-85 or so?

    • December 3, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      Jeff, I will certainly look for you, although I don’t have all the old issues. I wish I did! If I find it, I will email it to you right away.

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