Wednesday, February 11

Texas Red Chili

Tender beef and pork simmered with chiles and spices make this Texas-style red chili

Texas Red Chili Food52

There are two distinct types of chili people: those who add beans in their chili and those who wouldn't dream of it. Preferences tend to be based on a person's upbringing and home state, but since I didn't grow up eating chili in L.A., I've only recently adopted a side in the great chili debate. My vote goes with Texas style chili, which means meat and spices cooked into a rich stew and no beans allowed. My husband was firmly on the other side but recently converted after trying this Food52 recipe I made for the Super Bowl. Ground pork, cubes of beef, and a flavorful mix of ground spices and dried chiles form the base of this stew. The meat simmers until it becomes super tender with a rich and deeply-colored sauce. Dress it up with a variety of garnishes like fresh cilantro, cool sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, and a touch of lime. It tastes even better the longer that it sits, which makes it a perfect make-ahead meal or leftover lunch the next day.

More Chili Recipes:
- White Chicken Chili
- Pork Guajillo Chile Mole Stew
- Turkey & Bean Chili
- Grilled Chicken Chili

Texas Red Chili:
- 3 lbs. beef chuck, trimmed, diced into 1/2" pieces
- 2 c. low-sodium beef broth
- 2 c. tomato sauce
- 6 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 3 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 c. ground pork
- 1 1/2 tbsp. bacon fat or butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 7 tbsp. ground chile powder
- 2 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- Big pinch of dried oregano
- Big pinch of ground black pepper
- Grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, etc. for garnish

  • Heat the bacon fat in a large dutch oven over high heat.
  • Add in the beef and pork in two-three batches and cook until browned all over, removing the seared meat to a plate with a slotted spoon while the other batch cooks.
  • Return all the meat, plus the onion, garlic, beef broth, and pepper to the pot. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cover with a lid. Cook for 90 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the ancho and guajillo chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the chiles sit in the water for 30 minutes to soften, then drain off most of the liquid and blend in a food processor to form a paste.
  • After 90 minutes, stir in the chile paste, chile powder, cumin, salt, tomato sauce, chocolate, and oregano, and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Add in the brown sugar and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • Divide the chili into bowls and serve with garnishes.

Serves eight