It’s 47 degrees outside, football is in full swing and it’s high time I figured out a real deal Texas chili recipe. Spoiler alert: I used tomatoes. Yeah, I did. And I used ground beef, albeit coarse ground aka chili grind from a butcher shop called Longhorn Meats. No beans though, and that deep hue of red was from making my own chili powder. I even have two versions for you and my inspiration came from an award winning recipe from the Terlingua International Chili Championship.
I told you it was real deal.
First thing is first. Credit goes to Christine Knight’s award winning chili, whose recipe I found in the digital pages of Texas Monthly. There are no shortage of Texas Chili recipes out there but I know where I’m gonna find something that has merit, and that is gonna be from the pages of Texas Monthly. Add to that a recipe that won accolades at the Terlingua Chili Festival and I feel like I did some fine vetting.
Now this recipe isn’t an exact replication. The original calls for store bought chili powder. I chose to make my own. My research for this Texas Chili Recipe included some shoutouts on Twitter and Instagram where a few trusted sources suggested I go this direction.
After toasting the peppers, I deseeded them and removed the stems. I gave my spice grinder a good workout and wound up with this batch of ground Ancho, Pasilla and Guajillo peppers. I use these peppers a lot from Carne Asada marinades to salsas and while they might seem exotic, you can find them in most grocery stores.
The original recipe calls for using canned tomato sauce. I decided to up the ante with some imported whole peeled tomatoes from Italy a la San Marzano style. A quick hit with my immersion blender and I had my own tomato sauce. It’s worth noting that for 2 pounds of beef, I used 8 oz of tomato, so the tomato flavor is pretty subtle.
Now let’s get to work. Start with cooking the beef over medium heat in a large heavy pot. No need for heavy browning here either. Cook till the meat is an even grey and then place in a strainer. I reserved the liquid and skimmed the fat to add later. And the fat? Totally saved the for a future fried potato project.
Return the drained beef to the pot. Add 2 cups of stock(I used chicken here), a 1/2 cup of water and that cup of pureed tomato. Cover and cook for 30 minutes at a low simmer.
After 30 minutes, pop that top and get ready for the first spice dump. Now this is “version 1”, so you are seeing onion powder, cayenne pepper, 3 tablespoons of that chili powder plus a chicken and a beef bouillon cube. Mix well, cover and continue to simmer for another hour. I checked in every 20 minutes to see if I needed to add more water. It’s a consistency thing and it’s totally your call.
Time for the second spice dump. This is when this chili really starts to taste like chili. In comes the cumin, white pepper, garlic powder, paprika, the Sazon Goya and the rest of the chili powder. Mix well, cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or so.
Now I was pretty damn pleased with this chili. The fam loved it. But there was something different different about this recipe compared to the meals we usually cook at home. This one relied heavily on MSG. There isn’t any salt in this recipe but there is plenty of sodium. Between the chicken/beef stock, the bouillon cubes and the Sazon-Goya seasoning, there was no need to add salt.
So for my second version, I wanted to try to make the chili without the MSG. I ditched the bouillon and replaced the Sazòn Goya with ground coriander. And I added salt, about 3/4 of a teaspoon in total. Ironically the sodium amounts weren’t drastically different but it did taste less like “restaurant/processed food” in my humble opinion.
However there was that umami factor missing. I mean, MSG is used for a reason . . . it adds tremendous flavor. My solution?
Two tablespoons of this stuff. Yup, a little acidity to add some depth of flavor.
And there you have it partner. A real deal Texas Chili Recipe that just might make your Halloween a little more Spooktacular. I definitely recommend a little shredded cheese and sliced jalapeño too. Try both versions if you like, and like it, I hope you will.
If you’re in the Austin area, you can get the same chili grind used in this recipe by shopping at Longhorn Meats. Use this code to get 15% off your purchase: alikhaneats
Follow this link: https://longhornmeatmarket.com/discount/alikhaneats
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