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Texas Red Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 1x


A bowl of Texas Red. Chili with big chunks of beef, the way Texas wants it.


  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 5 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • 2 chipotles en adobo, minced, with sauce
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups water (or homemade chicken stock, if you have some available)
  • 1/4 cup masa harina (mexican corn flour)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Sear the Beef: Salt the beef cubes with 2 tsp of salt. Sear the beef cubes in 3 batches. Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in a large (8 quart) dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking, then add the beef. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until well browned. I usually just treat them as having two "sides" - 3 minutes, flip, 3 minutes on the other side. Between each batch, add a teaspoon of oil, and let heat for about 1 minute before adding the next batch of beef. Put browned cubes in a big bowl while you work on the other batches. When they're done, you'll have a nice, browned fond on the bottom of the pot. If the fond looks like it is starting to burn, reduce the heat to medium, and put the beef cubes directly over the part of the pan that's in danger of burning. (I use three batches because that allows me to brown the beef without overcrowding the pan. It works best if you use two pans for the browning; you don't have to watch out for burning as carefully.)
  2. Saute the Onions: Reduce heat to medium. You want 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Add more vegetable oil, or pour out fat to get to 2 tbsp. Put the onions in the pot, add 1/2 tsp salt, then saute the onions until softened and just starting to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape the pot after a minute or two, to loosen up the browned fond and mix it into the onions.
  3. Toast the Spices: Make a hole in the center of the onions, then add the chipotle puree, 1/2 cup of chili powder, cumin and oregano to the pot. Stir for 1 minute, or until you really start to smell the spices - you want to toast them a bit. Make another hole in the center of the onions, and add the garlic and diced jalapeno. Stir for another minute, or until you smell the garlic.
  4. Cook the Chili: Make sure your oven rack is in the bottom third of the oven, then heat oven to 325°F. Add the tomatoes and water to the chili pot, and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck spices. Add the reserved beef cubes and any juices they released. Turn the heat on the stove to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, and move it into the oven. Bake for 3 hours.
  5. Final Seasoning: Mix the masa harina, 1 tsp chili powder and water in a small bowl until combined. It should be the consistency a thick cream; add more water if it needs it. Remove the chili from the oven, and stir in the masa harina mix. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, or put back in the oven for 10 minutes to thicken. Stir in the lime juice, and season to taste. (Be careful - the lid and handles are hot! I always forget that, and sear my hand when I grab the handles.)
  6. Rest and Reheat: (Optional, but helps the flavor a lot.) Leave the chili on the counter, uncovered, until it cools to room temperature, a couple of hours. Cover and move to the refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight, or up to four days. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to serve, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Chili
  • Cuisine: American