Slow-Cooked Texas Chili

Texas chili doesn’t contain beans or tomatoes and has a base of dried chillies, which allows for a really deep, rich flavour. This recipe uses both minced beef and diced beef, which gives it a range of textures to make up for the lack of beans. This has quite the kick, so I’ve cooled it down with some rice, cheddar, sour cream, diced onion, coriander, and lime. I served this with some homemade buttermilk biscuits, using this recipe.

Ingredients (to serve 4):

For the chili

  • 800 g Diced beef
  • 500 g Beef mince
  • 2 tbsps Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1½ tbsps Cornmeal or polenta
  • 4 Dried chillies (I used a mix of guajillo, chipotle, and pasilla)
  • 8 Pieces of smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 300 ml Beer
  • 1 litre Good-quality beef stock
  • 1 Onion, roughly diced
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • Grated cheddar
  • Sour cream
  • A bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 Lime, in wedges
  • ½ White onion, finely diced
  • Buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, or your favourite bread
  • 300 g Brown or white rice


  1. Start by making your spice mix. Preheat your oven to 100℃, and leave your dried chillies in there for around 5-10 minutes. You don’t want to char them, you just want them to be really dry before you blend them. If you can’t find dried chillies, you can use chipotle paste, but try and get the chillies if you can. Once they’ve been dried, remove the stalks and transfer to a spice mill or blender. Blend until a powder forms – this is strong, so make sure you don’t accidentally get a nose full.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, and add your brown sugar, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, cocoa, and cornmeal. The cornmeal might seem strange, but it helps to make the chili nice and thick. Set aside.
  3. Next, heat a large, heavy bottomed pot with a tiny splash of oil, and add your diced bacon. Cook on a medium heat until crispy and some fat has been rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Brown your diced beef and minced beef in batches, so a nice brown crust forms. Remove, again with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  5. Add your diced onion and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add your beef and bacon back in, and add your spice mix. Ensure everything is well coated before adding your beer. Scrape up anything that’s stuck to the bottom, then add your beef stock.
  6. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Put a lid on, leaving a small gap, and leave to cook on a low heat for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom, if you think too much liquid has cooked off add a splash more water.
  7. Once it’s reduced down and the meat is really tender, season liberally with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings if you need to.
  8. Serve with rice, cheddar, sour cream, chopped coriander, lime wedges, diced onion, and your favourite bread. Enjoy!

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