October 6, 2013

Authentic Texas Border Chili Revisited


It's that time of the year again to enjoy all-meat no-beans chili so I'm re-posting the recipe for my all-time favorite, Authentic Texas Border Chili. The secret to a better tasting chili is roasting the cumin seeds before using. The one thing I really don't like about store-bought chili powder is the [offensive] raw flavor of cumin seeds which ruins almost all the food it's added to. 

Enjoy this flavorful chili with saltines, oyster crackers, table water biscuits, or on top of hot dogs, pasta, pre-cooked pinto beans, and steamed rice. 

Authentic Texas Border Chili
Recipe from my cookbook CHILI MADNESS A Passionate Cookbook by Jane Butel. She writes:
The creator of this gastronomic epic hails from Brownsville, Texas, and insists that you follow his recipe to the letter!
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and seeded
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 pounds beef shank, coarse chili grind
1 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings
24 pieces green onion, chopped
5 green bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
5 fresh serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound chorizo, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons ground hot chile
4 tablespoons ground mild chile
3 tablespoons prepared cumin seeds*

water or beer
  • Puree the first 4 ingredients and one of the garlic cloves in a blender. Scrape the mixture into a large heavy pot and add the beef.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions, bell peppers, serrano chiles, chorizo, and the garlic, and cook until onions are translucent and chorizo is browned. Stir the vegetables into the beef and tomato mixture. Add the salt, ground chile, cumin, and enough water or beer to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 6 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning.

*To prepare cumin seeds, place them in a 300°F oven for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove seeds from the oven and crush with a mallet or grind in a coffee grinder used exclusively for spices.


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