The Texas Classic “Bowl of Red”
The true “bowl of red” does not contain any beans, nor does it have any tomatoes. The meat used is a finely diced beef chuck, and not ground beef.
All of the ingredients used in this chili con carne recipe can now be found in markets today in most areas of the United States. Serve this chili with flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or cornbread.
Homemade Chili Con Carne
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck (trimmed of fat, and chopped into 1/4″ pieces)
- 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 4 tablespoons good dark chili powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 6 dried ancho chiles
- 1 dried New Mexico chile
- 2 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 cups cold water
- 3 cups unsalted beef broth
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 large garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground red chile
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 12- ounce bottle beer
- 4 fresh serrano chiles (seeded and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour)
In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in the fat with 2 tablespoons of the dark chili powder and the granulated garlic. Cook in batches, if necessary.
Place the New Mexico, ancho, and guajillo chiles the 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Cover, and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Drain, but reserve the cooking water.
Place the chiles in a food processor with about 4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Puree until a smooth paste forms, and there is no evidence of any chile skin. Mix the chile puree into the beef. Add 2 cups of beef broth, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and slowly simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir the onion powder, crushed garlic, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, ground red chile, paprika, white pepper, salt, cumin, oregano, the remaining 2 tablespoons of the dark chili powder, the beer, and the remaining beef broth into the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, and add the chiles, serranos, chocolate, vinegar, Tobasco Sauce, and brown sugar. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix in the masa harina with about a half of a cup of the broth until there are no lumps. Pour into the pot, and stir and cook uncovered over very low heat, until the meat is very tender, and the gravy is thick, or about 2 hours. Stir occasionally so the mixture does not stick.
If the chili con carne is too thick, add small amounts of boiling water. Serve immediately, or better yet, refrigerate the chili con carne overnight and serve the next day, reheating it in a microwave. This recipe makes at least 6 servings.
Billy is the writer and editor for Spicy Cooking.