Texas Chili Done Right
I'm going to preface this recipe by stating plainly that I'm not what you would call an expert chef. In fact, my repertoire of dishes consists of exactly two: barbecue brisket and chili. But I'm really OK with that, as most Texans will agree that these to southwestern meals are in fact the two major food groups. I'll show how I cook brisket in the near future, but this time around I'm going to share my amazing chili recipe. (or chili con carne, if you want to get technical) How amazing is it? Let me just say that if you were to serve this to a table of dyed in the wool Texans, at least one of them would name their next child after you. Yes, this is why there are so many people named Mark Stevens in the Lone Star State.
The recipe as outlined here is for 3 pounds of meat, and while that might seem an unusual quantity, I find this perfect for two family meals.
A Word About Ingredients
This recipe differs from most in that I'm going to be very specific regarding one of the ingredients, right down to the brand. The ingredient in question is the chile pepper (dark) from myspicer.com. I'd like to put to rest any suggestion that I have “an angle” in regards to promoting this product, as nothing could be further from the truth. Neither I nor anyone I know works for that company, and I am not part of any sort of affiliate program with them. I use and recommend this product because, after years of trial and error, I've found it to be, by far, the best available. What distinguishes this mixture is that it's not overly sweet, an undesirable attribute I find in all too many chili pepper/powder mixtures. The best chili mixes are invariably dark variations that typically include raisins as one of the ingredients. (although the ingredients aren't usually detailed)
The quality of meat also makes a big difference in the final outcome, and I've found that the ground chuck sold by Central Market (or HEB groceries) is vastly superior to the stuff sold by most grocers. Much of the ground beef sold these days comes from overseas and has been frozen for an indeterminate period of time before put on the shelf. Not good.
- 3 pounds ground chuck, other meats may be substituted
- 1/2 cup chili pepper blend (as detailed in paragraph above)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, reduce or increase to taste
- 3 tablespoon masa flour, (Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix)
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can black beans, optional
- Brown meat in a sauce pan and drain excess fat. (drain most, but not all)
- Add 8 ounces of tomato sauce and 20 ounces of water.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. (except for masa)
- Lightly simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 45 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of warm water to a measuring cup and stir in 3 tablespoons of masa. Add the thick mixture to the chili and stir.
- Continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes.
- Add beans if desired. Serve.