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Texas Chili

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Winter campouts call for food that warms the mouth, the stomach, and the heart. I can't think of any more warming and satisfying winter meal than a big steaming bowl of genuine Texas chili!  It's easy to make on campouts too!

Texas Two-Step Chili

Ingredients for the pot:
2 pounds ground chuck (or finely cut chunks of steak or roast)
8-ounce can tomato sauce
16-ounce can beef broth 
16-ounce can chicken broth

Ingredients of spice bag 1:
4 Tablespoons dark or hot chili powder blend (include 2-3 chili powders, such as Mexene or Mild Bill's Dixon Med Hot, avoid brands that contain salt)
1 Tablespoon dry minced onion flakes
1 Tablespoon dry minced garlic (not garlic salt)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Ingredients of spice bag 2:
4 Tablespoons of a lighter chili powder (such as Mild Bill's San Antonio Red, include 1 Tablespoon of Mexene, avoid brands that contain salt)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon dry parsley

Night before the campout:
1. Chop beef, if using steak or roast.
2. Mix together Spice Bag 1 in a Ziploc bag.
3. Mix together Spice Bag 2 in another Ziploc bag.
4. Make sure you have a can opener in the patrol box.

Cooking Directions:
Brown the meat in a large pot.  Drain off excess fat.  Add tomato sauce, beef broth, chicken broth, and Spice Bag #1.  Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer one hour. Add Spice Bag #2. Simmer another 30 30 minutes. Watch consistency --- if chili becomes too thick, add more beef broth (bullion and hot water can be used as well). Taste and add salt, chili powder, and Louisiana Hot Sauce (or Tabasco, as you prefer).  

Avoid asking advice from anyone from Cincinnati --- or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter. Those folks don't know beans about chili because they think there's beans in chili. Worse yet, the Cincinnati crowd tries to throw in cinnamon, chocolate, dirty underwear, and other such flavorings, then they serve it on top of spaghetti and pile on mountains of cheese so orange it must be radioactive. 

It's enough to make a Texan cry!  So we won't ruin our perfectly good chili that way....stick to the recipe and you'll have genuinely tasty Texas chili.

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Those mid westerners might not know beans about chili but they know cold, so they might not be that far off. Besides, I married a mid westerner so I have to be kind to them.

Either way, I think I'll try your recipe. What do you do when you don't live in Texas and don't have 18 chili powders to choose from? My local grocery store has "chili powder." This is kind of like curry. Hmm, maybe that's why those mid-westerners add underwear, they only have one chili powder! Got any chili powder recipes?

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Just because you're not lucky enough to live in the Lone Star State doesn't mean you can't cook and eat like a Texan.

In this age of Internet of Everything, you can buy quality spices online even if your local stores don't stock anything spicier than granulated sugar.

A couple good sources of different chili powders and blends:

* Mild Bill's:  https://www.mildbillsspices.com/

* Penzeys:  https://www.penzeys.com/

A lot of chili contest winners swear by Mild Bill.  My mom was a great cook and always swore by Penzeys. Even though Penzeys is based in Wisconsin, they manage to surreptitiously smuggle good flavor in and out of state. I like Penzey's Chili 9000 blend and have also had good luck spicing things up with their ground Chipotle and ground Ancho chilis. 

Dig in!

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