Texas No-Bean Chili
A meat only chili—leave it to the Lone Star state to toss out the beans. But it's delicious, no beans about it!
Marinate beef, covered, overnight in 3 T oil and 2 T chili powder. (Do not use an aluminum bowl.)
Brown meat—on all sides—in a hot, heavy skillet. Transfer meat to a large pot. Cut sausage into 1/4" slices, brown, and add to beef in pot. Add more oil if needed.
Reduce heat under the skillet and sauté onions till soft. Add garlic, remaining chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir 3 minutes more. Then add beer to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the meat bits from the bottom. Add to the large pot, along with brown sugar, tomatoes, and tomato paste.
On a low heat, bring chili to a simmer, cover, and cook about 3 hours—leaving the lid off during the final 30 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Tips & Glossary
Plenty of heat! For many that’s the pleasure of Tex-Mex food. But if you’re sensitive to throat-burning, eye-popping peppers, then turn the heat down—just reduce the peppers.
• Chili Powder: dried ground chili peppers typically mixed with cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. You can make your own blend, adding cinnamon, cloves, coriander, paprika, and nutmeg. Briefly heat dried peppers in a skillet to release flavors, then grind them into powder.
• Chorizo: a spicey pork sausage. OurTex-Mex recipes use the Mexican version—fresh pork which is cooked before eating. Spanish Chorizo is cured, ready to eat like pepperoni. If unavailable use a hot Italian sausage.
• Chili Pepper: any small hot pepper, as opposed to larger, milder bell peppers; includes, cayenne (red), chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeños), habanero, jalapeño, paprika, poblano, serrano, and tabasco.
• Chimichanga: a deep fried tortilla, filled with rice, beans, cheese, or meat, and folded into a rectangular packet. It's thought to have originated in Arizona.
• Coriander: also known as cilantro and Mexican or Chinese parsley. Both fresh leaves and dried ground seeds are used in Mexican, Mid-East, Asian, and Indian cuisines.
• Cumin: an aromatic kin to the parsley and carrot plant; an important ingredient in chili powder. Used especially in Indian curries, but also in Mexican, Thai and Asian dishes. It has an earthy, peppery flavor.
• Enchilada: made using corn tortillas, dipped in a sauce, filled and rolled up. They are placed in a casserole dish, topped with sauce and cheese, then baked.
• Quesadilla: (kay-sa-dee-ya), literally, “little cheese thing.” In Tex-Mex cooking it has come to mean a sort of grilled cheese sandwich, using two tortillas filled primarily with cheese, grilled in a skillet or griddle, then cut into wedges.
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