The Making of a Petro

Monday, September 10, 2012

Unless you are from East Tennessee, you probably have no idea what I am talking about when I say, "College football and Petro's just go together!" 
You see, Petro's is a restaurant that serves...... well....Petros.  It all started in 1982 at the World's Fair in Knoxville, TN.  A couple from Spokane, Washington, Joe and Carol Schoentrup, operated a concession at the fair and served a dish similar to the popular Frito Pie.  But, the Schoentrup's decided to dress up their dish by adding cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, and hot sauce.  Oh, and you might be wondering why they called it a Petro instead of Chili Pie.  Well, they came up with the name as a derivative of petroleum to honor the energy theme of the 1982 World's Fair.
As I eluded to before, an East Tennessee tailgate party and/or a college football party isn't complete without the infamous Petro being served.

Unfortunately, I don't have the authentic recipe for Petro's chili; however, I have MY recipe for chili which my family thinks is just as good.  Now, go make a pot, build yourself a Petro and turn on some football!
Chili Recipe:
2 lb ground beef
2 onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 TB chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cans of Rotel (mild or hot depending on your taste)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cans chili beans (mild or spicy depending on your taste)
Directions:  Brown ground beef in pan, then drain.  Add onions and continue to cook until onions are soft.  Stir in garlic, chili powder, salt, cayenne, oregano, Rotel, canned tomatoes (my family does not like chunks of tomatoe in their chili, so I run my canned tomatoes and Rotel through the food processor), and tomato sauce.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.  Stir in beans.  Simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stir occasionally.  Serve chili over Fritos and top with any or all of the "Fixings" below.
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Black Olives


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