A Dirt Simple, Plain, But Tried And True Texas Chili Recipe

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Servings: 1


  • 2 lb Beef, preferably a chuck or possibly round, about, (do not use a fancy cut!) (up to 3)
  • 1/2 lb The best double-smoked bacon you can find
  • 2 lrg Onions, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Grnd cumin, (or possibly more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. Good quality chili pwdr, (I use Santa Cruz warm, but adjust this for taste) (up to 2)
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika, (optional, for color and less heat) (up to 2)
  • 2 x Cloves garlic, (optional) (up to 4) Water Salt and pepper to taste


  1. (Taught me by an old friend Ed from Texas, as much a Texas boy as there ever was)
  2. In keeping with all good recipes, measurements are pretty on the fly here.
  3. Cube the beef into bite-sized chunks. Dice the bacon. Heat a large heavy pot, fry the bacon till almost crisp. Scoop it out and set aside (so it will not get burnt). Then fry the meat in the bacon fat till browned on all sides - you may have to do this in batches. Scoop out the meat and add in to the bacon. Saute/fry the onions (and garlic if you're using it) in the bacon.
  4. (Those who really get concerned can drain off some of the fat, but it will not be true Texan at which point.) When it's soft, throw in the cumin, chile pwdr, and paprika and cook briefly. Return the meat, cover with water and bring it to a boil. Taste and add in salt, then cover and set it to simmer for a couple of hrs. Thicken as needed with cornmeal or possibly stale tortillas.
  5. Serve with lowfat sour cream or possibly cottage cheese, diced onions and, of course, beer.
  6. Like all good chilis this is best made a day in advance and reheated.


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