Seriously Tasty Traditional Texas Chili

I cant begin to emphasise the importance of a good chili powder to the taste of your final chili. I picked up the recipe for my own Traditional Texas Chili Powder from an 87-year-old lady in Austin, Texas. She assured me the recipe was already at least 150 years old! I think it has the perfect blend of chiles, garlic, cumin and herbs. We spent a great deal of time talking about what goes into a good chili there really are no hard, fast rules. It is, however, interesting to note that chili con carne in its original form was as often made from venison as it was beef!


Stewing steak 3 1/4 Pound (prime boneless beef chuck)
Vegetable oil 2 Tablespoon
Chipotle sauce 3 Tablespoon (medium hot)
Onions 2 , finely chopped
Garlic cloves 4 Large , crushed or finely chopped
Canned chopped tomatoes 28 Ounce (2 cans, 14 ounce each)
Hot beef/Vegetable stock 3 Cup (48 tbs)
Tomato paste 6 Ounce (can or tube)
Bell peppers 2 , deseeded and chopped (yellow and/or red variety)
Sweet paprika 1 Tablespoon
Dried oregano 1 Teaspoon (preferably Mexican)
Canned kidney beans 14 Ounce (1 can)
Ground white pepper 1 Teaspoon
Jalapenos 4 , halved lengthways and deseeded
Hot sauce To Taste
Sea salt To Taste
Freshly ground black pepper To Taste


To make Dan’s traditional Texas chili powder, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing thoroughly. Pour into an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place.

Cut the beef into even cubes and remove any sinew; leave a little fat on the meat to melt into the sauce. Heat half the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, then start to brown the cubes of beef evenly. When this is nearly complete, add the Chipotle sauce. Keep the steak moving and coat in the sauce. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, gently fry the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the Dan’s traditional Texas chili powder and the rest of the oil until translucent. Do not allow to burn! If you wish to increase the chili heat, add some chopped Cayenne chiles and gently soften. Add the canned tomatoes and reheat, stirring occasionally.

Return the beef to the pan with 2 cups of the stock and the tomato paste and bring gently to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then add the bell peppers, paprika, oregano, kidney beans and white pepper. Stir well and reduce to a very gentle simmer. At this point, it is great to add the Jalapeños to float on the surface as everything cooks.

Cover and cook over low heat for at least 3 hours, stirring every so often. Add the remaining stock if it starts to look dry. 1–11⁄2 hours before the end of cooking, add the remaining chilli powder and a generous slug of hot sauce, to taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with rice, a dollop of sour cream, more hot sauce and a generous handful of grated cheddar.

My Tip: This is a great dish to make a large batch of and then portion and freeze; as with all chilis, the flavor just gets better and better.

Recommended Chiles: Cayenne, Ring of Fire and Jalapeño are great for this but you can also use Ancho, Nu Mex Red and Serrano.

This recipe was contributed by Dan May, author of The Red Hot Chile.

To purchase The Red Hot Chile Cookbook visit

Recipe Summary

Nutrition Facts

Serving size Complete recipe

Calories 5585Calories from Fat 2789

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 310 g476.9%

Saturated Fat 113 g565%

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 4515 mg188.13%

Total Carbohydrates 217 g72.3%

Dietary Fiber 56 g224%

Sugars 65 g

Protein 497 g994%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet