Texas Style Chili, Revisited

Remember how I said I was going to look at some of my old recipes and retrofit them to suit our new way of eating?  Turns out, going through the cookbook files, I already had begun.  And with the logical choice.

In January 2009, I not only posted my recipe for chili, but damn near wrote a treatise on the subject.

At the end of Goodfellas when Ray Liota’s character enters the Federal witness protection program and is relocated far from his home (one presumes NYC), he laments that he asked for spaghetti with marinara sauce at a restaurant and received egg noodles with ketchup.

I can relate, for the first time I ordered chili in Ohio, I received tomato soup with ground beef and beans in it.  I suppose I shouldn’t have been too terribly surprised; I honestly thought I’d gone beyond surprised when connecting through the airport at Cincinnati and saw that these nutty Ohioans eat their version of chili on a bed of spaghetti.

Hey – we Texans take our chili very seriously.

I went on to discuss not only what should and should not go into chili (yes to beans, no to ground beef and poultry), but what to eat with chili (yes to corn tortillas, cornbread, saltines and Fritos, no to flour tortillas and any cracker that’s not a saltine).  For the most part, I stand by my rules for what goes into chili – yes, even the beans, although I don’t always include them and when I do they’re properly prepared (pre-soaked in an acidic medium) and in far fewer quantities than pre-paleo/primal/real food/whatever you want to call it.  But the accompaniments have sadly gone the way of the dodo, although my Savory Almond Flour Muffins are a fine replacement for cornbread.

At any rate, autumn is upon us in most areas of the country and it’s a fine time to revisit what is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the best damn chili outside of the great state of Texas.  And I have to tell ya, adapting this recipe was hard work, folks.

I took out the beans.

Texas Style Chili

Texas Style Chili

serves 6

2 pounds chuck or round steak, cut into 1″ cubes
2 tablespoons beef tallow
3 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium roasted green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large Poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
4 to 6 cups cups beef stock, preferably homemade

Heat the tallow in a large, preferably cast iron, Dutch oven or stock pot. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and brown in the fat. Add the onion, cooking until the onion begins to soften. Add the peppers and garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano, cooking until fragrant, another 1 – 2 minutes.

Add enough of the stock to cover the mixture well; bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if the liquid is boiling away too quickly.  Once the meat is fork tender, continue to cook, uncovered, until mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish with cheese, sour cream and/or guacamole, as desired.

Nutrition (per serving): 456 calories, 30.7g total fat, 104.3mg cholesterol, 647.4mg sodium, 1287.1mg potassium, 12.4g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 4.9g sugar, 35.2g protein.

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13 thoughts on “Texas Style Chili, Revisited”

  1. MMMM….I too have become a chili snob ever since my dad discovered a “Texas” chili recipe 20 years ago. Now nothing else compares although yours sounds similar. No beans. cubed chuck roast, bacon, and whole lotta other goodness. For some reason, dishes like these are always better reheated the next day.

  2. I’m sure this is great but we won’t be having it at our house. It would just make me sick and I’m the one that cooks so if I can’t eat it, it won’t be made.

  3. I have to say, I shamefully agree with you about the beans. All my life, I’ve heard that beans in chili is WRONG, that it’s filler, that it’s not REAL chili. But…I like the beans. Sigh… And I too am a Texas food snob. It has taken me YEARS to try to explain to Jimmy that most of what they call “barbecue” out here in CA is just “grilled”. It might taste good and all, but don’t call it “barbecue”. I used to know somebody who put Miracle Whip in her guacamole. ARGH. I told her, she could make it, she could eat it, it might taste good, but DO NOT call it “guacamole”! It was…avocado dip. All that said…I understand the removal of the beans, and you should just think of it as a return to the purer form of chili. I just calculated the WW points here (though the WW website drew a blank with Beef Tallow) and it’s about 12 a serving. Which is doable for me if those servings are of a decent size. So tell me – how much is a serving here? I’m hoping it’s not like one of the wimpy servings on most of the WW recipes – 1 cup per serving or some such nonsense.

  4. This is on stove right now. I refrained from making any changes, except it’s in a straight-sided saucepan because my Dutch oven wasn’t clean from last night’s coq au vin:(.

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