Texas Chili


Texas Chili
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To make your Texas Chili you will need chuck roast – chili grind, New Mexico pepper powder, smokey paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, salt, masa marina, apple cider vinegar, water, or beef broth. Optional ingredients are cayenne pepper and Mexican oregano.

Real Authentic Texas Chili Does Not Have Beans

If you’re debating whether to put beans in your chili, “You might not be from Texas.” Texans take full credit for our culinary invention the ‘bowl o red’. The first recorded mention of this famous dish was credited to the Chili Queens who sold chili con carne in open-air stands on the streets of San Antonio in the 1860s. However, there was a similar dish that was often served on cattle drives consisting of reconstituted beef (or fresh if available) with spicy peppers, popular with the trail hands that was introduced around the latter half of the 1800s.

San Antonio Chili Stand, 1893 Worlds Fair

Eventually, Texas Chili was introduced to America during the 1893 Worlds Fair in Chicago, Illinois at the San Antonio Chili Stand. Texas Chili continued to evolve from the meat sauce of the chili queens and the meat and pepper dish of the early trail hands prepared by the camp cook, into a hearty meat dish made of chuck roast with various spices. It became an even more popular dish in the state of Texas with the invention of chili powder.

Texas Chili
Award WinningTexas Chili “Bowl of Red”

Why are There No Beans in Texas Chili?

Texans prefer a robust-tasting chili that is not watered down by anything. Texas chili is made to showcase and enjoy the pure chili taste. Texas chili is different because it does not include either beans or tomatoes.

Chili Powder Invented in Texas

Chili powder is said to have been invented in Texas by William Gebhardt in 1890. William a German immigrant opened a small cafe in the back of a saloon in New Braunfels, Texas. William found it difficult to keep fresh peppers and herbs on hand. He soon discovered that by drying chilis and herbs and then grinding them into a powder he could have them on hand whenever needed not just when they were in season. William quickly set up shop soon after and began selling his spices. He trademarked his business as Eagle Chili Powder in 1896.

Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff

With the introduction of chili to the rest of America in 1893 chili quickly became a passion in many states and chili cook-offs were born. The Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff in 1967 originated to settle a disagreement between two Texas journalists over chili. Therefore it was decided that in order to settle the great chili dispute an international chili cook-off was needed. 

Although many chili cook-offs predate the Terlingua Championship Chili Cookoff of 1967 it was the deciding factor in the ongoing dispute of beans or no beans for the best chili. The final decision lay between the bean chili and the Texas truist ‘bowl of red’ meat and spice chili with no beans. The winner of course is Texas ‘bowl of red’, meat and spice chili with no beans. Since the Chili Cook-off of 1967, the use of beans has been forbidden in the annual Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff.

“State Dish of Texas

Chili became the official state dish of Texas when Governor Dolph Briscoe signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 18 (HCR 18) on May 11, 1977. The resolution states in part: ”RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, the Senate concurring, That the 65th Legislature in recognition of the fact that the only real “bowl of red” is that prepared by Texans, hereby proclaims chili as the “State Dish of Texas.”

True to our history Texas Chili traditionally to this day includes meats, spices, and NO beans. Sure if you want to water it down with tomatoes and beans for the ailing folks and those with weak stomachs it is certainly acceptable but don’t you dare think it is going on top of my Fritos.

Anyway, it is unusually cold here in Texas with the recent polar vortex occurrence. This is a historic weather event for the state of Texas. This type of weather is pretty much unheard of in Dallas and extends as far south as Austin, Texas with possible sub-zero temperatures for parts of Texas headed our way. The high today was 18 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 4 degrees so what better time for a real “bowl of red” Texas Chili.

True Texas Chili Recipe “Bowl O’ Red”

Make our Award-winning, Championship, Texas Chili Recipe (no beans) at home for an authentic taste of Texas. You will not be disappointed with this iconic, famous Texas dish. Texans take their chili seriously.

What You Will Need

Typically I have the butcher ‘chili grind’ fresh chuck roast for my chili. It still has the full roast flavor and incorporates into the spices much better than chunks of roast beef. Either way is acceptable and you may prefer the meatier chunks of beef. Of course in a pinch, you can use ground round but it will not have the full-bodied taste of chuck.

Chuck Roast Chili Grind
Chuck Roast Chili Grind

There are many pre-blended chili powders commonly made with cayenne and other spices. I prefer to incorporate my own blend of spices depending on the overall tone I am looking for whether it be mild, hot, or somewhere in between. Some of you may prefer the New Mexico chilis for a heavier-tasting meat sauce or a milder-tasting red California pepper for a lighter sauce. You can layer the pepper powders using a combination of different peppers.

You can Layer the Pepper Powders to Your Liking

There is an array of peppers that go well with chili and I switch these up often for variety. One of my favorite peppers for chili is Ancho Chili and Guajillo chili. They are both available in powdered form. Other good picks for chili are various varieties of red peppers. Another of my favorites is Mild Red California Pepper which imparts a lot of flavors even though still relatively mild on the heat scale.

Texas Chili
Red Chili Pepper

Chipotle powder is dried, smoked jalapeño peppers that are then crushed into powder form and have an earthy smokey flavor. It can work well in chili but a word of caution, it can be overwhelming so best to use less or use it in combination with another pepper, such as a mild to medium red pepper. If you like your chili hot then the addition of small amounts of Cayenne pepper will work with most mild to medium blends of peppers.

Make Your Own Chili Pepper Blend
Make Your Own Chili Pepper Blend

Unless you are using a chili blend then you will need the chili pepper of your choosing. We are using a darker New Mexico pepper powder with a dash of cayenne powder. You will also need apple cider vinegar, smokey paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin (comino), salt, and masa harina. If you like you can add Mexican oregano but this is optional.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Brown your meat until nearly done over medium heat on the stovetop in a Dutch oven. In a small bowl add your spices, salt, and masa mixing thoroughly to incorporate completely.

Add Dry Ingredients
Add Dry Ingredients

Reduce heat to medium-low and incorporate spice mixture throughout meat mixing constantly. Add apple cider vinegar and water or beef broth to the meat mixture. Stir over low medium heat until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated with the liquid. Continue to cook on lower medium heat stirring occasionally until you see the liquid reducing. Reduce heat to a simmer so as not to burn and cook for an additional 1 1/2 – 2 hours stirring intermittently until liquid is reduced. If needed increase heat towards the end of cooking to reduce liquid to desired consistency stirring constantly.

Texas Chili
Texas Bowl of Red

Serve immediately with toppings of your choice. Recommended toppings: shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped green onion. Serve with a side of stone ground cornbread and tossed salad.

Check out our Texas Skillet Chili recipe.

Get this great 7 Quart Lodge Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven With Loop Handles and Cast Iron Cover, here.

Cowboy Stew Recipe here.
Texas Chili

Texas Chili

Texas Bowl of Red. Real Authentic Texas Chili Does Not Have Beans If you’re debating whether to put beans in your chili, “You might not be from Texas.” Texans take full credit for our…
5 from 33 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 1185 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs chuck roast chili grind
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4-6 tbsp New Mexico Chili Powder to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp ground cumin (cumino) to taste
  • 1 tbsp smokey paprika
  • 2 tbsp masa harina
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne or more to taste (optional)
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano optional
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water or beef broth

Instructions
 

  • Brown your meat until nearly done over medium heat on stove top in a Dutch oven.
  • In a small bowl add your spices, salt and masa mixing thoroughly to incorporate completely.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and incorporate spice mixture throughout meat mixing constantly.
  • Add apple cider vinegar and water or beef broth to meat mixture.
  • Stir over low medium heat until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated with the liquid.
  • Continue to cook on lower medium heat stirring occasionally until you see the liquid reducing.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer so as not to burn and cook for an additional 1 1/2 – 2 hours stirring intermittently until liquid is reduced.
  • If needed increase heat towards end of cooking to reduce liquid to desired consistency stirring constantly.
  • Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.

Notes

Make our Award-winning Texas Chili Recipe (no beans) at home for an authentic taste of Texas. True Texas Chili Recipe  – “Bowl o’ Red” best in Texas!
Toppings are optional. Recommended toppings: shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped green onion. Serve with a side of stone ground cornbread and tossed salad.
 
Keyword Best chili recipe, bowl o red, homemade chili recipe, No beans chili recipe, recipe, Texas Chili, Texas chili recipe, Texas state dish
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as a courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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What is Texas Chili?

Texans prefer a robust-tasting chili that is not watered down by anything. Texas chili is made to showcase and enjoy the pure chili taste. Texas chili is different because it does not include either beans or tomatoes.

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Kay Keeton

Editor in Chief, Kay is a designer turned writer, marketer, storyteller, and influencer. A sixth-generation Texan, Kay is passionate about sharing her home state of Texas's diverse culture and lifestyle. Kay is a content writer and editor of content for various local and national online publications.

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