Warm up in cold weather with Raymond Burr's chili recipe
The Perry Mason star would have gotten along with Columbo quite well.
When you think "chili" and "classic crime television," the first name that comes to mind is Columbo. Peter Falk's character loved to eat the stuff. But as far as making a big pot of chili? Leave that to Perry Mason.
Newspaper columnist Johna Blinn had a rather unique syndicated series that profiled celebrities and their recipes. It was a popular read in the 1970s. These recipes of the stars were later collected in her 1981 Celebrity Cookbook.
One of those recipes happened to be a chili from the kitchen of Raymond Burr. Yes, Perry Mason himself loved his spicy stew.
Here's the recipe, reprinted from Recipes for Rebels:
RAYMOND BURR’S CHILI SUPREME
1 1/2 lbs ground round steak
2 large onions, diced
2 tbsp. Wesson oil (or another vegetable oil)
1 lb. dried red beans
1 chunk, salt pork
1 20 oz. can (or 2 1/2 cups) canned tomatoes
1/2–3/4 tsp. chili powder, to taste
• In a large pan, add beans with enough water to cover by 1 inch and cook along with salt pork until beans are tender. Add water as necessary, and then let the water boil down until soup is thick.
• Saute ground beef in oil, along with onions and chili powder until done.
• Add beef to beans, along with the can of tomatoes. Continue cooking for 2 hours or more at very low heat. This produces a sweet, succulent chili like you have never tasted before. Better the second day.
If you do decide to make it, let us know how it is!
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And no, this isn't an "internet legend". You can look it up in the US Food & Drug Administrations "Bad Bug Book" https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborne-pathogens/bad-bug-book-second-edition Page 254
ramekins come in different sizes
Perry Mason-You can come work for me anytime. I have a job opening since Paul has left us
Columbo- You don't say. Wow if my wife finds out I am starting today.
Perry Mason-In the mean time I want to share this recipe with you. My famous Chili recipe
Columbo- I am just ....so ecstatic and when the Mrs. sees your Chili recipe.... she'll flip. I can't thank you enough Mr Mason.
Perry Mason- In the mean time talk it over with her and get back to me.
Columbo- I am so .....humbled over your offer Mr. Mason. I will certainly get right back to you.
Perry Mason- Just one thing I would like to say Columbo.
Columbo- What's that?
Perry Mason- Please put out that cigar
Columbo: Oh! Oh, *I'M* sorry, I didn't— I'll put it out. I should never have brought it in here, sir, sorry, it's a nasty habit, my wife's always trying to get me to quit... here. *puts out cigar* I'm so sorry about that.
Perry Mason: That's alright. It's just that Della is a little allergic to smoke. Think nothing more of it.
Columbo: Thank you, sir. And I can't wait to tell my wife about the job, she'll be so thrilled! Just thrilled!
Perry Mason: So, I'll hear from you later.
Columbo: Yes, sir. Thank you sir. Well, goodbye! *nods, waves and smiles, goes to door, exits*
Perry Mason sits at desk, reaches for some papers...
*sound of door opening*
Columbo: Ah, just one more thing, sir...
[Perry Mason, unlike all those nervous killers, isn't irritated at all]. "Yes, what is it?
Columbo: I was just wondering, sir, it was sorta BOTHering me... I just have to ask you...
Perry Mason: Yes? What is it?
Columbo: Uhhhhh, when you say "chunk of salt pork", is it like— I mean I don't know about these things *runs hands through hair*... my wife knows this stuff but I wouldn't even know where to begin, but I just wanted to make sure?.... *scratches head* Uhhhh, what exactly is a chunk? Is it like 2 pounds, 3 ounces or what? I'm not really a kitchen guy.
*zoom to close-up of Mason's face, puzzled, pensive, surprised*
Perry Mason: You know, I've never thought about that... Della—
Della Street: Yes, Perry?
Perry Mason- Della, get Paul on the phone…
*music crescendos dramatically*
*cut to Lerner and Rowe commercial*