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Chili Texas Style

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

No self-respecting Texan would be caught dead serving chili with all ground beef. And Hiram Bonner, who contributed this recipe, is no exception. He also hand-cuts beef chuck steaks into cubes to give his chili some texture. “The recipe was given to me by my Aunt Janie, whose husband was the first black district attorney in Houston. Because she did a lot of entertaining, she learned to be creative and came up with this recipe. “It’s extremely spicy—almost three alarm,” cautions Bonner. “The fumes alone from this chili will make your eyes water.”

NotesChili is like spaghetti sauce—ask ten different cooks and you get ten different recipes. Everyone has at least one hint on how to make the ultimate chili, but Hiram has two. The first is to melt a full pound of Monterey Jack cheese into the simmering chili at the end, adding a creamy smoothness to the gravy that your guests will love. Second, he purées simmered jalapeno peppers to create a seasoning “sauce,” so you can turn up your chili’s heat at will. If you can, make the chili a day ahead so the spices can mellow.

Serves4 to 6

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, hot & spicy, meaty, spiced

Ingredients

  • 5 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef round
  • 1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 quart beef broth, homemade or canned
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Hot cooked rice or kidney beans

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan of simmering water, cook the jalapeñnos just until tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Cut open the jalapeños, remove the seeds, and chop fine. Scrape the chiles into a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the ground round and cubed chuck, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the meat loses its pink color, about 6 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and half the chopped jalapenos. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin seeds and stir for 1 minute.

  3. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and cook until slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.

  4. Gradually stir in the shredded cheese. Taste, and season with additional chopped jalapenos, salt, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve with hot cooked rice or kidney beans on the side.

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