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 beware...as 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!!!!