It’s cold outside. It’s raining, dreary and windy. What’s the best thing to warm you up? How about a heaping bowl of chili?
Now everybody has their version of what “Real” chili is. There’s really no actual proof that it goes one way or the other with beans or no beans. I personally love what’s known as “Texas Red”. It’s thick, hearty, and a carnivore’s dream. Meat, a trinity (the southern mirepoix consisting of 50% Onion 25% Celery and 25% green pepper), spices, and stock with lots of time to simmer. No beans in mine, not that I have anything against beans in a chili. They tend to soak up a good amount of the fat and liquid if you use them correctly. I just personally prefer mine without. Most people like to top their chili with something. Whether it be shredded cheese, scallions, or sour cream. All would work well to top this delicious Texas red!
For the stock, it doesn’t need to be homemade, but for me, homemade makes all the difference. If you make it yourself, you can control exactly what’s in it. I like mine a little bit richer and I always have a couple marrow bones lying around. I roast marrow for a snack on crackers or for ice cream. Adding them gives me that richness. Not to mention there’s only as much salt as you add to it.
The dried chilies in this are specific and once you taste it, you’ll understand why. Each individual chili has a depth of flavor that adds to the complexity of the aroma.
What could be better than Texas Red? How about Texas Red served over crispy on the outside and moist on the inside Creamed Corn Cornbread?!
1 T Salt
1 T Ground Guajillo Chili Pepper
1 T Ground Arbol Chili Pepper
2 t Dried Basil
2 t Garlic Powder
1 t Onion Powder
1 t Paprika
1 t Black Pepper
1 t Cayenne Pepper
1 T Ground Cumin
1 t Dry Mustard
1 t Dry Thyme Leaves
½ t Ground Nutmeg
½ t Ground Cinnamon
3 Dried ancho Chili Peppers
3 Dried Poblano Chili Peppers
6 Dried Serrano Chili Peppers
5 lbs Top Round – Cubed
½ C Cornmeal
1 ½ lb Slab Bacon – Diced
6 C Onions
6 c Green Bell Peppers
3 C Celery
2 T Fresh Garlic
4 Bay Leaves
6 C Stock
8 Tomatoes, Smashed
First, Grind the dried peppers into a powder. Add the rest of the spices.
Take the cornmeal and brown it in a skillet, about 4 minutes on high. Keep it moving or it will burn, and burn very quickly. Set aside for later.
Place the bacon in a large pot on medium low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally to scrape bottom, until dark brown in color. About 30 minutes. Remove the bacon.
Turn the heat up to high and add half of the beef and half of the seasoning mixture, cooking until browned. About 5 minutes. Remove and repeat with the second half of beef and second half of seasoning. Remove and set aside.
Add 4C Onion, 4C Peppers, 2C Celery, and the garlic. Stir and cook 10 minutes.
Add bay leaves, cook uncovering to stir occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Remove lid and cook until the veg is starting to stick to the bottom…this is a good thing! The Caramelization that’s happening here is added deep flavor! about 6 minutes.
Stir in the beef and cook 20 minutes.
Blend the bacon and the stock together in a blender until smooth.
Add the stock mixture, and tomatoes. scrape the bottom of the pot well as the stock will help to loosen the good bits stuck to the bottom. Again, flavor flavor flavor…Add the remainder of the veg and the seasoning. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
Add the cornmeal. This is your thickener for the chili, but it will need to cook out, and this will take a while. Continue to cook for about another 2 and a half hours, partially covered. Stir every 30 minutes and scrape the bottom well.
All done! The beef should be tender and melt in your mouth. You can eat it right away, or let it rest in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors really marry. Serve it over some Creamed Cornbread for a real hearty bowl…