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Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

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(1 review)
Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili
  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 3 hr 30 min
  • Servings 4
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Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Traditional Texas chili recipe with no beans and no tomatoes. This is the real deal.

Ingredients

8
dried chiles, New Mexico and/or guajillo
2
teaspoons ground cumin
1
teaspoon kosher salt
1
teaspoon ground black pepper
6
tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes
1/2
yellow onion, diced
2
cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups beef stock
2
tablespoons cornmeal
1
tablespoon white vinegar
1
tablespoon brown sugar
Sour cream, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish
Tortilla chips, for garnish

Directions

  • 1 Lay out dried chiles on a baking sheet and roast at 325ºF for 8-10 minutes until chiles are fragrant. Add to a bowl and cover chiles with hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • 2 Drain chiles (reserve the soaking water) and cut off stems. Remove seeds and roughly chop the chiles. Add to a blender with the cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the reserved soaking water and blend until the mixture is in a smooth paste. You might need to add a bit more water if it is too thick.
  • 3 Season beef cubes with big pinches of salt and pepper.
  • 4 Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and brown beef in 2 batches until it's browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Remove beef and set aside.
  • 5 Add remaining vegetable oil to pot and add onions. Turn heat down to medium and as onions sweat, scrape up bits stuck to the pan. After onions cook for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • 6 When onions and garlic are soft, add beef stock (start with 2 cups) along with 1 cup of reserved chile water and 1 cup of regular water. Use liquid to again scrape up any bits on the pan.
  • 7 Add beef back to pot with any liquid that has settled, plus the chile paste and cornmeal. Bring chili to a simmer and turn heat down to low so the mixture is barely bubbling. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 90 minutes.
  • 8 Add vinegar and brown sugar to the pot, remove from heat, and let sit for 30 minutes so the beef can absorb the juices. Then gently reheat chili over low heat, adding more stock if the chili is too thick.
  • 9 Adjust flavors to your liking by adding more salt or pepper.
  • 10 Serve chili in bowls garnished with sour cream, lime wedges and corn tortillas or tortilla chips.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

Big beefy chunks make this chili some of the heartiest around. But don't look for beans in there!

As prepared by Macheesmo,

Beanless beef chili – the real deal!

Beans or no beans? Tomatoes or no tomatoes? These are the first questions most people ask when they ask about chili. If you ask these questions to a Texan, they will almost certainly say no to both!

In fact, some will get mad at the idea of calling something chili if it has beans or tomatoes. It’s not the real thing that way, they'll say.

To be honest, I tend to be a bit more flexible in my chili definitions, but for those diehard chili fans, this is how you make an official bowl of beef chili, or "Texas Red".

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

The key to any good chili is good chile peppers. Don’t use chili powder! You need the real deal, so get some dried ones (with mild to medium spice) and lay them out on a baking sheet.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Roast them at 325ºF for 8-10 minutes until they are fragrant and then soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes. This will bring them back to life. Be sure to reserve the chili soaking water for later!

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

When the chiles have soaked, cut off the stems and scrape out the seeds. Then add them to a blender with some cumin, salt, and pepper.

You don’t need a bunch of other flavors. The chiles are really complex and delicious and you want them to shine. Pour in enough liquid from the soak to make a paste and blend it up! I usually start with a half cup but you might need more.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Blend it until it’s in an almost smooth paste. Some small chunks are okay though.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Okay. Let’s talk beef. To be honest, you could use a wide range of cuts here. Sirloin, chuck roast or brisket would work just fine. You really want about a half pound of beef per serving.

Cube up the beef, cutting off any large pieces of fat, and season them with salt and pepper.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Add a good drizzle of oil to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the beef well on all sides. Work in batches and take your time. Then remove the beef from the pan and set it aside for later.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Turn the heat down to medium on the pot and add another 2-3 tablespoons of oil along with the diced onions. Use the onions to scrape up bits stuck to the pan.

After the onions have cooked for a few minutes, add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Add the beef stock, one cup of reserved chile water, and one cup of normal water to the pot along with the beef (and juices) and the cornmeal.

Bring this all to a very light simmer and turn heat down to low. You want it just barely simmering or the liquid will evaporate too quickly.

Cover the chili and cook it on low heat for 90 minutes. That will make sure the beef is fall-apart tender.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

After simmering, stir in vinegar and brown sugar and season it with salt and pepper.

Here’s the trick: Turn off the heat now and let the chili cool for thirty minutes (covered). This will give the beef time to absorb all the flavors.

 

Texas-Style Beef Brisket Chili

Once the beef has sat for 30 minutes, heat it up again gently over low heat and serve big bowls of it with sour cream, limes, and tortilla chips (or just corn tortillas). 

Impress your Texas friends with this one!

 

Nick will eat any chili, if he’s being honest! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon Profile.

See Recipe
Tips  

You can make this chili with different beef cuts. Beef chuck roast is a classic, but you can also try it with a sirloin roast.

Nutrition Information 
No nutrition information available for this recipe
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