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Texas Chili

by: Marilyn McCray


I am descended from Stephen F. Austin, who was known as the father of Texas. Growing up I was aware of just how important traditions are in Texas, especially the culinary ones. Indigenous people greeted arriving outsiders with “Tejas,” which means friends and would be the name of the state. The Spanish came in 1690, looking to spread Christianity. After the Mexicans gained their freedom from Spain, the colonization began with Mexicans as well as settlers from the United States. The Native Americans moved into the region in the late 19th Century. Europeans colonists ventured across the sea in search of religious freedom and land. Each group brought its own traditions, celebrations and food that now make up the unique cuisine of Texas. Chili is a legendary food in Texas. Some say that it was the cooks on the cattle drives of the 1870’s and 80’s who invented this spicy delight cooked over a campfire. However, there has always been a debate about Texas Chili. Beans or No Beans. Often in the Lone Star state it is said, “if you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans.” Some say real chili is really chili con carne or chili with meat. Not chili con carne con frijoles or chili with meat and beans. Even the Dallas Morning News published The Best real recipe Texas chili recipes - no beans allowed).

Serves 4 – 6

· 2 pounds beef stew meat or ground beef

· Olive oil

· 1 large onion, chopped

· 4-6 cloves garlic, minced

· 1-2 Jalapeño peppers for hear or add chipoltes for a smoky flavor chopped

· 16 oz beef stock

· 1 can diced tomatoes

· 1 can stewed tomatoes

· 1 can tomato sauce

· Chili powder – to taste

· Ground cumin – to taste

· Salt and pepper

· Red Pepper Flakes/Chili Peppers