Passable Texas Chili

In keeping with the title of this blog – thought I would address “Texas style” chili.. There are at least 100 towns and cities that try to lay claim to being the birthplace of chili – half of them are in old Mexico – but one of the most popular legends about the origin of chili (and the most pleasing to me) is that it originated along the cattle trails in Texas. That is the justification used by the folks that judge most of the chili cook-offs and contests in Texas for not allowing “fillers” in contestant’s chili – chunks of tomato are particularly banned along with beans, rice, corn, macaroni, etc. (Chili poured over, or mixed with, rice is popularly known as “New Orleans Chili”).

Here is a recipe that I can slip by my cousins (born and raised in the San Antonio, TX area):


1 lb lean beef
1 lb breakfast sausage (NOT links) – I like Jimmy Dean
6 tablespoons chili powder – more is optional.
2 teaspoons paprika
1 large white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves – crushed, peeled, then finely diced – or use garlic powder instead
3/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons masa harina flour or finely ground cornmeal – thickening agent
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
16 ounces water or beer – I prefer beer
1/2 cup warm water

  1. The sausage used for this recipe is pork country style like Jimmy Dean or Owens roll etc.
  2. Brown meat together in a large 12 inch skillet and drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce and 16 ounces of water or beer.
  4. Add all ingredients except cayenne pepper and masa.
  5. Simmer 30 minutes.
  6. Add cayenne pepper (you can always add more later).
  7. Mix masa and ½ cup warm water with a fork. Add to chili and stir well.
  8. Simmer 20 minutes. You can simmer for hours if you want, just stir every 30 minutes.
  9. Chow down.
  10. This is great by itself or to make nachos, top cheese enchiladas, frito pie, quite good rolled in a flour tortilla with cheddar etc — or you can pretend you transported yourself to New Orleans and pour it over white rice while watching the obvious disgust of any Texans present.

This entry was posted by dave on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 at 10:20 pm and is filed under Chili Recipes . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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