The influence behind this recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when working with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the “cookies,” or trail cooks. It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chilis.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
One Pot MealYes
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty
Type of Dishhot soup, soup
- 2 tablespoons lard, butter, bacon drippings, or rendered beef fat
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 pounds lean beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 medium-size garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup ground hot chile or to taste
- ¼ cup ground mild chile
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- About 3 cups water
- 1½ teaspoons salt or to taste
Heat lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
Add meat, garlic, ground chiles, and cumin to pot. Break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2½ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.
1994 Jane Butel