I’m a Texan, so there’s one thing you should know about me if you don’t already: I take my chili very seriously.
I make good old-fashion Texas Chili. This means NO BEANS and NO ONIONS ever… unless you want to serve them on the side. (Frankly, I don’t think beans should be in the same room with Texas Chili.) Some Texans say you shouldn’t even add tomatoes (sauce or whole), but I think it adds a little depth to the chili if you add just a little (but just a little).
One thing that separates Texas Chili from those other poseurs you might find is the meat. Texas Chili always uses cubed meat… doesn’t matter if it’s beef, venison, pork or alligator, the meat is never ground.
To thicken the chili, use masa harina (Mexican corn flour) to make a “slurry.” Making a slurry is important so you don’t have little flour balls floating in the chili. To make a slurry, whisk together 1 part masa harina, with 2 parts liquid from the chili. Stir the slurry into the cooking chili until it’s as thick as you like.
So, neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick steaming bowl of REAL Texas Chili? Well, that’s too long!
REAL Texas Chili
prep: 20 minutes
cook: 1 hour (or longer if you have the time)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 lb. chuck or eye of round, trimmed of fat and cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tablespoons chili powder (add more if you want it spicier!)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or passed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
6 cups beef stock
2 cups crushed or chopped canned tomatoes (not drained)
½ cup masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
let’s get to it…
Heat the olive oil on medium high in large heavy stockpot or saucepan for 1 to 2 minutes.
Sauté the meat in the olive oil until browned; reduce the heat to medium low.
Stir in the chili powder, garlic and salt until the meat is well coated with the spices.
Add the beef stock and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to keep the meat from sticking and burning. Continue cooking until the meat is tender.
Place the masa harina in a bowl and whisk in 1 to 1½ cups of the chili liquid (try to avoid stirring in beef or tomatoes) until a watery paste forms.
Blend the masa mixture into the chili. If the chili isn’t thick enough, make another slurry until you get the desired thickness.
cooking know how…
- The flavor of your chili depends on the flavor of your chili powder. Buy fresh chili powder at a spice store or at a market where you know they make their own spice blends.
- Serve your chili with sides of shredded cheese, sliced jalapeño, chopped onions and Fritos (I love Fritos on my chili) so everyone can top it with what they like!