This legendary food, named "the state dish of Texas" by the Texas
legislature, has been a source of many debates, both as to the origin and
the correct ingredients. It has been said by some of the most respected
figures in the chili world that "anyone who would put beans in chili
doesn't know beans about chili." The following recipe is a "no frills"
version. Included are a couple of the most common variations for the more
adventurous who would "fly in the face" of Texas tradition.
2 ounces animal fat (beef suet or uncured bacon)
2 pounds coarsely ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder, or more if desired
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
Salt to taste
1. In a large skillet (preferably cast-iron), render fat over medium heat
and remove rinds. Add ground beef to skillet and cook until just brown.
Add onion and garlic.
2. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and mix well. Add salt
3. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 2 hours. The texture and
flavor will change greatly as all of the ingredients blend together.
4. Add water as needed during cooking, keeping in mind that the final
product should be somewhat thick. Serves 3 to 6
VARIATIONS: Instead of adding water if it is needed, add tomato juice or
puréed tomatoes. Chopped mushrooms and green peppers also make great
From: NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy
Body by Ray Audette
Included here with the author's permission.