We are iced in for at least 2 days, and I’m prepared with a big pot of chili- Texas Red to be exact.  So I thought I would share with you a quick little ditty about chili.

Chili has a long and highly debated history, much of it springing from the tall tales of long Texas cattle drives.  But there is a lot of fact woven into that history too. 

From the lore of the cattle drive, tales of priests railing against the aphrodisiac powers of the chili pepper, to the well-documented Chili Queens of San Antonio, one thing is for sure… real chili doesn’t have beans. 

That’s right.  No beans.  No kidney beans, no pintos.  No beans.  Period. 

A spoonful of Texas Chili.

And thank goodness because I am not a huge fan of the lentils, and they sure as heck can ruin a good pot of Texas Red.

2 bowls of Texas Chili with corn chips, sour cream and cheese.

Tomatoes, like beans, are a controversial and argued chili  ingredient.  And while I stick to the hard and fast “no bean” rule, I do make the occasional exception for the tomato.  When I go red, I go red-  chilies, cayenne, and yes, that might include a tomato or two.

Overhead view of a big bowl of Texas Chili.

So saddle up your taste buds, partners, because I am going to share with you 2 versions of my recipe (with tomatoes and without) for Texas’ official state food. 

And don’t miss out on the fascinating info included in the source links below.  I mean, did you know, that Lyndon B. Johnson had his very own chili recipe which is archived in his presidential library?  (His recipe included tomatoes, too.)


Recipe Card

Texas Red Chili (with tomatoes)
Hearty and warm, Texas Red is a true Texas chili with no beans.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs ground beef
  2. 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  3. 1-1 1/2 tsp paprika
  4. 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  5. 1 tsp oregano
  6. 1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  9. 1/2 – 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  10. 1/4  tsp cayenne pepper
  11. 2-3 C water (or 2- 14 oz can tomato sauce)
  12. 2 cans Mexican Rotel
  13. 2 cans Rotel
Instructions
  1. Brown the beef in a medium dutch oven or stock pot.
  2. Add in spices.  Stir to coat beef.
  3. Stir in water or tomato sauce.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add in Rotel.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serve with Fritos, sour cream, and shredded cheddar.
a southern discourse https://southerndiscourse.com/

 

Texas Red Chili (without tomatoes)
Hearty and warm, Texas Red is a true Texas chili with no beans.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs ground beef
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  4. 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  5. 1 to 1 1/2 tsp paprika (helps achieve that signature red color)
  6. 1 tsp oregano
  7. 1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  10. 1/2 – 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  11. 1/4  tsp cayenne pepper
  12. 2-3 C water
Instructions
  1. Brown the beef in a medium dutch oven or stock pot.
  2. Add chopped onion.  Cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add in spices.  Stir to coat beef.
  4. Stir in water.  Simmer 10-15 minutes
Notes
  1. Also great with Fritos, sour cream, and shredded cheddar or just crackers.
a southern discourse https://southerndiscourse.com/

Little Things You Might Need To Make & Serve Texas Chili

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Texas Chili is an easy recipe made with a flavorful blend of spices and beef with no beans. Harkening back to the chuck wagon days, Texas Chili warms the heart and soul on crisp days.  Delicious with corn chips, cheese and sour cream. #Texas #chili #nobeans #fritos #southerndiscourse

Sources:

International Chili Society, “History of Chili”

Linda Stradley, What’s Cooking America: “History and Legends of Chile, Chile Con Carne”

Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Recipe for Pedernales River Chili, LBJ Presidential Library Archives, University of Texas

Find this and other great recipes on Weekend Potluck!