Texas-Style Chili


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This bean-less chili is perfect for meat eaters who like a bit of spice. Lots of flavor and can be made ahead.

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  • 1/4 lb. bacon, chopped
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 C. medium-hot pure chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 4 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 C. water
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs. cornmeal

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In a large heavy kettle cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp, add the onions and the garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onions are softened. Add the chili powder and the cumin and cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef, the water, the oregano, and the salt and simmer the mixture, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep the beef barely covered, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Stir in the cornmeal and simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until it is thickened slightly. The chili may be frozen or made 4 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled.

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