How to make Texas Chili

How do you make Texas chili?

The only thing more intimidating to me than touting a chili recipe in Texas would be to offer a recipe for barbecue, where every one-horse-town in the state has a pit barbecue joint, and a winner of the Terlingua Chili Cookoff! And I’ll warn you, we’re close to Mexico, so we like it spicy! (Picante)

Chuckwagon during setup
Chuckwagon during setup

President Lyndon Johnson said he couldn’t wait to get home to a bowl of red! The first known chili recipe was in response to a panhandle radio cooking contest in the 1920’s. It was by an old rancher who called it “Styew, without the ___  ___ beans!”

In a large cast-iron pot over medium high heat, brown in oil (your choice) about a half to a third of a pound of chopped or ground meat (your choice, venison, beef, goat, whatever). Take it out to drain, and sauté onion chopped. Put the meat back in, turn down to simmer and add water to cover. Then add chili powder (pure ground red chili pie pods), cumin, tomatoes (canned is ok) and simmer an hour or two. Then add garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper, and simmer until they blend, maybe half hour. Finally thicken it. You can use cornmeal stirred in if you want it gluten-free or you can make a roux of flour and oil, and when it turns to goo that smells like burnt popcorn, add at it in in small amounts while stirring. No beans! But you can put anything else in it you want (some folks add a little sugar).

One thought on “How to make Texas Chili

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *