Real Texas Chili! - Food Adventures In Western North Carolina! Blog at - 255629

Food Adventures In Western North Carolina!

REAL Texas Chili! 
Nov. 2, 2011 2:36 pm 
Updated: Nov. 2, 2011 11:21 pm
Now I know that claiming that "my" recipe for REAL Texas Chili is like waving a red flag at a Brahma bull, but before everyone reaches for their hanging rope, let me explain why historically this is pretty close to REAL chili.

First, tomatoes have no place in chili...their addition makes a great STEW, but it is not chili.  Historically chili was a mixture of dried chilies, dried beef, dried beef suet and salt.  It could be carried by the frontier people, mixed with water and reheated on the trail.  No tomatoes!

But the original recipes for chili also had no beans...but Texans would most certainly have added (or substituted) beans in order to stretch meager and expensive beef.  But whether or not you believe the "history," I've made this recipe too many times to count...and even won a local chili contest with it!

Real Texas Chili
2 T canola or olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 1/2" cubes (if you can find "stir fry cut" beef it works great and bison is incredible!)
4-5 T mild chili powder (we use only Gebhardt, even though here in North Carolina I have to buy it online!)
2 t ground cumin
1T dried oregano
3 T all-purpose flour
1 container (32 oz each) beef broth
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, drained (or I cook 1# of pinto or anasazi beans in the pressure cooker)

In a large heavy stock pot, heat oil.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until just translucent.  Add the beef, stirring frequently until the meat changes color but does not brown.  In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano and flour.  Sprinkle over the meat, stirring until the meat is evenly coated.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Slowly add the beef broth, stirring until the liquid is well blended.  Add salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.  Gently stir in the beans.  Check seasoning.  If this isn't spicy enough, add more chili powder.  But the chili sets up, it will become hotter.

Serve over Spanish rice; garnish with avocados, sour cream, chopped cilantro, salsa, or cheddar cheese or all of it!  And of course, none of those "topping" are historic!!!!  

Freezes well!

Nov. 2, 2011 3:38 pm
hello neighbor, Love chili
Nov. 2, 2011 11:21 pm
Thank you for this blog! I do enjoy some tomato in chili, and I enjoy beans in chili, but I was raised by a chili purist so I know better on both counts!!! It just kills me to hear "What do you mean no tomatoes? What do you mean no beans? Who ever heard of THAT?" Your chili sounds wonderful!
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About Me
I'm the former owner of Mint Condition Herb Farm, an organic herb nursery, gardening shop and cooking school in Seabrook, Texas. In July my husband and I moved from Texas to Asheville, North Carolina and began a whole new adventure...farmer's markets are everywhere and small farms are just down the road. it's a cooks paradise! I'm found every Saturday am at the UNC Farmer's Market picking what's fresh for our meals the next week!
My favorite things to cook
Chicken, seafood (NC seafood is awesome!), & I'm experimenting constantly with Shrimp & Grits. With so much local organic produce I'm canning, dehydrating and freezing as much as possible for the coming winter. Love to bake bread, any kind of bread. We no longer eat turkey though...we have huge flocks that wander our yard and it would seem too much like eating a pet! Guess it will be ham for the holidays this year!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cinnamon sticky buns during the Texas/A&M grudge match at Thanksgiving! Chicken Noodle Soup with Fresh Rosemary and Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies for whenever my husband isn't feel well!
My cooking triumphs
I catered lunch and snacks for the cast and crew of a History Channel documentary on The Making of the Alamo and even got screen credit! Having written 3 cookbooks (San Bernard River Recipes) that are now out of print, I'm working on Mint Condition Herb Farm's new cookbook! And hoping that will be my future cooking triumph! I'm also a former food writer and restaurant reviewer for the Houston Chronicle.
My cooking tragedies
My first loaf of boyfriend (now my husband of 34 years!) went around knocking on neighbor's doors with it, it was so hard!!!! I've gotten much much better he says!
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