Texas-Style Chili

Chili has been the official dish of Texas since 1977, but a recipe for it has not yet been added to the state’s constitution, and it’s likely folks have been, and will be, debating just exactly what goes into a Texas chili for centuries. But there are a few things most everyone seems to agree on: It always includes chiles, onions, canned tomatoes of some kind, and plenty of cumin. It’s always red. And it never, ever, under any circumstances, includes beans.

We’re good on all those fronts, but just to cover our bases, we’re still calling this recipe Texas-style chili. One of the things that makes it special is the great big chunks of chuck roast. We give it a good sear before it goes into the stew, so it stays super tender, and we can use its fat to sweat the onions. The sauce is amazing too: It’s made with beef stock, beer, tomato, lime juice, and a rich purée of fresh chiles and spices. It’s thick and intensely flavorful — with just a whisper of heat.

This chili is a winner everywhere it goes, from game day to Sunday supper. We like to put out little bowls of garnishes and let our family build their own chili. Here we used Fritos, bright raw onions, crema, and fresh cilantro — those half-crispy, half-soggy Fritos really take it over the top. We sure don’t miss the beans.

Servings: 8

Ingredients You'll Need:

12 dried Hatch chile peppers

3 cups water

2 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut to 1-inch cubes

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1 Tbsp kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

1 Tbsp black pepper, divided, plus more to taste

2 small yellow onions, diced small (reserve some for garnish)

6 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp ground cumin

2 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained

1 Negro Modelo beer

2 Tbsp lime juice

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Crema, for garnish

Crispy corn strips, for garnish

How to Make Our Texas-Style Chili

  1. In a medium skillet, toast the dried chile peppers over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

  2. Remove the chile peppers from the heat, add 3 cups of water, and cover the skillet with a lid or foil for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, season the chuck roast with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

  4. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the grapeseed oil over high heat, and then sear half of the chuck roast until browned and caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside. Repeat with the rest of the chuck roast, reserving all the beef fat.

  5. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the onions to the beef fat, cooking until they are translucent and beginning to sweat, about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pot, and set it aside.

  6. Drain the chile peppers and discard the water. Remove the stems, split the chiles lengthwise, and discard the majority of the seeds. It’s okay if there are a few seeds left over.

  7. In a blender, combine the chile peppers, garlic cloves, ground cumin, dried oregano, sweet paprika, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, beef stock, tomatoes, and the remaining salt and pepper and pulse until a very smooth purée forms, at least 5 minutes.

  8. Add the chile purée and beer to the beef and onions, bring the chili to a boil over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat and simmer until the beef is fork tender, about 3 hours.

  9. Season the chili with salt and pepper, and then stir in the lime juice.

  10. To serve, garnish with the cilantro, onion, crema, and crispy corn strips.

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