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A Dirt Simple, Plain, But Tried and True Texas Chili Recipe


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Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Beef; preferably a chuck or round, about, (don't use a fancy cut!) (up to 3)
  • 1/2 lb The best double-smoked bacon you can find
  • 2 lg Onions; chopped
  • 1 tb Ground cumin; (or more to taste)
  • 1 tb Good quality chili powder; (I use Santa Cruz hot, but adjust this for taste) (up to 2)
  • 1 tb Paprika; (optional, for color and less heat) (up to 2)
  • 2 Cloves garlic; (optional) (up to 4)
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

(taught me by an old friend Ed from Texas, as much a Texas boy as there ever was)
 
In keeping with all good recipes, measurements are pretty on the fly here.
 
Cube the beef into bite-sized chunks. Dice the bacon. Heat a large heavy pot, fry the bacon until almost crisp. Scoop it out and set aside (so it won't get burnt). Then fry the meat in the bacon fat until browned on all sides -- you may have to do this in batches. Scoop out the meat and add to the bacon. Saute the onions (and garlic if you're using it) in the bacon. (Those who really get concerned can drain off some of the fat, but it won't be true Texan at that point.) When it's soft, throw in the cumin, chile powder, and paprika and cook briefly. Return the meat, cover with water and bring it to a boil. Taste and add salt, then cover and set it to simmer for a couple of hours. Thicken as needed with cornmeal or stale tortillas.
 
Serve with sour cream or cottage cheese, diced onions and, of course, beer.
 
Like all good chilis this is best made a day in advance and reheated.
 
Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V4 #272 by David Cook <zebcook@pacbell.net> on Jan 17, 1998