Texas Style Chili surprises many people because it’s said that true Texas Chili does not contain beans. But there is a difference of opinion on whether it contains any vegetables. I prefer mine made with onions, green peppers and fresh tomatoes.
I do have to apologize from the start this recipe of mine isn’t for the quick kitchen cook, it takes a bit of prep time. This is one of those Sunday type recipes when it’s cool outside and you want to play in the kitchen for a few hours.
- 5 to 6 dried New Mexico Chiles, (This time I used 2 Pasillas, 2 Anchos and 2 New Mexicos because that’s what I had.)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 TB ground Mexican Oregano
- 1 TB salt
- 1 TB Cocoa Powder, sweetened
- 3 pounds beef chuck, cubed, patted dry with paper towels
- Bacon grease, Lard or Vegetable Oil (I just always have bacon grease on hand, it adds lots of flavor to the meat.)
- 1 onion, roughly diced
- 1 green bell pepper, roughly diced
- 1 cup chicken stock (I use chicken instead of beef because I find it more flavorful)
- 2 TB Masa tamale flour, tortilla flour, corn meal flour or all-purpose flour
- 5 fresh tomatoes, peeled and quartered or One 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
- 1 Jalapeno, stem removed, seeded, de-veined and minced
- 1 TB Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 TB White Vinegar
Remove the stems of the dried chiles and remove the seeds. Place in a heavy bottom medium sauce pan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes to soften the peppers completely. Remove the chiles from the water and set the chile water aside for future use in this recipe. Open the chiles up and gently scrap the flesh from the skin and set aside. I use a butter knife to do this. Discard the skins as they are very bitter.
Roast the garlic cloves in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until they are soft and the outer skin is blackened in places. This takes about 10 minutes. Cool, peel and set aside.
In a food processor combine the chile flesh, roasted garlic, cumin, black pepper, Mexican Oregano, salt, Cocoa Powder and 1/4 cup of the chile water. Process this until you get a nice paste from it. Set this mixture aside to be used later.
Melt about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Lard or Vegetable Oil, which ever you decide to use in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add some of the beef cubes, but don’t overcrowd the pan, lightly brown on all sides. Continue on with the remaining cubes of beef adding more bacon grease when needed. Place browned beef in the bottom of a crock pot.
When the beef is all browned, reduce the heat to medium and cool the skillet slightly. Melt another 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in it and add the onions and green bell peppers. Saute these until they just start to soften. Don’t worry about the beef residue in the skillet, the onions and peppers will de-glaze the pan. Add the chicken stock and 1 cup of the reserved Chili water. Whisk in the Chili paste until well blended. Slowly whisk in the Masa or your flour of choice to avoid developing lumps. Once all of these ingredients are well blended remove from heat and add the quartered tomatoes.
In your crock pot you now have the browned beef on the bottom. Top the beef with the minced Jalapeno and ladle the sauce mixture over the beef. Start off cooking on High for the first hour then reduce to low and continue to slowly simmer for 3 to 4 hours more. I usually stir the chile a couple of times during this process. The chile is done when the cubed beef is tender and falls apart.
10 minutes before serving stir in the brown sugar and vinegar.
Suggestions: I like to serve my Texas Chili by putting a layer of refried black beans in the bottom of a deep bowl, top with the Texas Chili and a Hoe Cake. If you choose to cook this on the stove you will need to double the amount of chicken stock and chile water.