LBJ Pedernales River chili

Photo courtesy of Aspen Photography
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, in 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups onions, 1/4 inch dice
2 cups garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano pepper, 1/4 inch dice
1 pablano pepper, 1/4 inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayanne pepper
3 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, 1/4 inch dice
1 cup beef stock, hot
salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil and brown the meat (in batches if necessary). Remove meat and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, and cook 4 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown.
  3. Add the spices and cook 2 minutes. Return the meat.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 1 hour. Skim fat as it cooks out, adjust seasoning, and add more water if necessary.
Chef: gorgeous, good shine & color, good size pieces, really tender, love the radish and pepper garnish. Some fat still on pieces of meat, could trim better or just cook longer on low heat to render the fat. You can taste the pepper, but not too hot.

Personal/Team: Definitely could have used a little more spice. The meat was too fatty, should have been trimmed better before going in since we didn't have the time to render all the fat. This was a good chili overall, I think canned tomatoes would have been just fine instead of concassed fresh tomatoes (could save the step).

Lesson Learned: Texas style chili is always made without beans. Other regions will add beans, but authentic Texas chili is just meat. The original recipe did not ask for serrano or for chili powder spices. Spice and heat are common in texas chili and it's good to have a blend of both dried and fresh chilies in the chili.