I have a confession to make, and it’s embarrassing: up until recently, I didn’t have a Texas Chili recipe because I always made my chili…
from a mix.
I know. I know!
It was a shameful secret I lived with until an out-of-state relative called me to ask for my chili recipe, because she just *KNEW* that out of ALL the people she knew in Texas, I’d be the ONE to have a great Texas-style Chili recipe. And suddenly I had to come to terms with my character flaw: I had only ever made chili from a mix.
I vowed then and there that I would learn to make chili. I mean I had to. Gosh. I’m from Texas, and I blog about food!
I’m picky about chili.
One, you know about my aversion to tomatoes, and most homemade chili recipes start with too many dang tomatoes. I don’t do tomato-y. Actually I don’t want tomatoes of any kind in my chili, because yuck. If I can taste or smell or even suspect there might be tomato, it’s too much, is what I’m trying to say.
Two, I also like beans in my chili OK, but I can take ’em or leave ’em. I usually just add them because it’s a cheap way to stretch a recipe to feed more people.
Three, it has to be just the right spicy: more-than-mildly spicy, but nowhere near painfully spicy, because my kids have to eat it.
And I think I finally came up with the perfect recipe.
Start with two pounds of ground beef, and half an onion, chopped (in my family, I have to hide onions in things, but NOBODY even SUSPECTS A THING when you brown the onions with the meat, FYI).
Add one teeny, tiny can of tomato sauce (BARELY any tomato sauce…) and about half a box of beef broth (or one can, depending on how you buy it).
Then add one can of pintos with jalapenos (OR, this is a great way to use those leftover pinto beans), and the perfect just-spicy-enough combo of spices: chili powder, garlic salt (I like Real Salt), cumin, Hungarian paprika, cayenne pepper (just a touch), black pepper, and a touch more onion powder if you want.
Simmer several hours; the more you cook tomato sauce, the less tomato-y it tastes, and that’s a-OK with me. I usually start mine about noon and simmer it until supper time.
Serve with grated cheese and cornbread.
And tomorrow, if you have any leftovers? Scoop some over a bowl of Frito’s, top with onions and grated cheese, and that’s what we in Texas call Frito Pie.
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