I am not a chili purist that touts one kind of chili over another, but rather I enjoy all kinds of chili. I’ve even featured a couple of different chili recipes such as my Lean Beef Chili with Beans and Corn or my White Bean and Chicken Chili. Nonetheless, there are those among us that have very strong opinions on what constitutes true chili. Those from Texas for example insist that true chili is just meat. What that means exactly varies from person to person, but the one constant is that Texas chili has no beans. Texas style chili also tends to be on the darker and spicier side with loads of chili powder and cumin.
When preparing my take on a Texas Style chili, I knew I wanted to do two things. I wanted it spicy, but not so much so that it was uncomfortable to eat, while at the same time incorporating some of the ingredients I love in other chilis. I chose to scale back the chili powder in favor of adding some other chili flavors like cayenne for a different heat and paprika for sweetness. I’ve even tried this recipe by adding a smoky chipotle morita powder that really punched up the spice and added another depth of flavor. Some recipes also call for thickeners like corn starch or masa corn flour, but I found that this recipe didn’t need any thickeners as the meat when shredded makes the chili very thick. Lastly, I wanted to simmer the chili in beer to give it a hearty base, however, the recipe works without beer by just substituting the beer for water or beef/chicken stock.
This recipe is a great base, but it also keeps itself open to modifications by more adventurous cooks. One of the main ones is that the recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker. Just follow the directions through step 4 and then throw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low.
At the end of the day, chili preferences come down to just that – personal preferences. I’m just as proud of this Texas-inspired chili recipe as I am with the other chili recipes in my repertoire. Give any or all of them a try and I think you’ll enjoy the flavors regardless of your chili opinions.
Makes 8 small servings at roughly 273 calories each.
Spicy Texas Style Chili Simmered In Beer
Spicy Texas Style Beer Chili.
2 pounds stew meat, roast, or chopped beef chuck (1760 calories)
1 medium to large sweet onion chopped
4 cloves of crushed garlic
2 Jalapeño peppers, deseeded and dicedNote: Want it spicier? Just swap one or both jalapenos for hotter chili peppers!
12 ounces of your favorite beerNote: Anyone that would not like to use beer can substitute the beer for water or beef/chicken stock.
2 tablespoons tomato pasteNote: This is a controversial ingredient for some Texas chili purists. Some say no tomato and some don’t care so long as there are no beans. Use your own judgment, but I like the hint of sweetness and acidity from the tomato paste.
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable/canola/corn oil
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
Note: Most Texas or New Mexico Style Chili recipes use a lot of chili powder (even more than what I have here), so if you want to try that, then bump up the chili powder amount and lessen or omit the cayenne and paprika. This yields a darker and more earthy chili.
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional Spice: Make it your own with a 1/2 teaspoon of a miscellaneous spice! I used chipotle morita powder once for more smoke and heat.
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
Scallions or Red Onion
- Tortilla Chips
- Large pot
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Tablespoon and teaspoon measurements
- Prepare the vegetables and spices ahead of time by chopping the onion, dicing the two jalapeno peppers after deseeding them (if you want the chili even hotter, go ahead and leave the seeds in!), crushing the four garlic cloves, and measuring out all of the spices into a bowl or dish.
- Place a tablespoon of neutral oil into a large pan or the pot you’re using to simmer the chili and raise the temperature to medium heat.
- Add in the onions and jalapenos to the pot and saute them until they start getting more transparent.
- Add the garlic and the spices to the onions while mixing well. Saute everything until the spices become fragrant (just a couple of minutes).
- Add the 2 pounds of chopped beef to the pot and mix the beef with the spices well.
- Once well mixed, pour in the 12 ounces of beer or stock and add in the two tablespoons of tomato paste.
- Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a low simmer for 2.5 hours. Stir the pot every 20-30 minutes or so.
- After 2.5 hours of simmering, the chili should be ready and the meat tender. Stir and serve the chili immediately as cubes of meat or give the meat a quick shred by mashing with a spatula. Again, people disagree about whether the meat should stay whole or not, but personally, I enjoy it shredded.
- Serve the chili with freshly diced scallions, red onions, and/or cilantro. Add a dollop of sour cream to cool off the spice or if you want, melt some shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese on top. Serve it over rice or with tortilla chips. Toppings are also a point of contention for chili lovers, but as far as I’m concerned, do what you like.
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