Texas Beef Chili

On a rainy, damp, cold day what is better than a big, warm bowl of spicy chili? You may ask what makes this chili particularly Texan. I definitely did. Apparently folks from the Lone Star state absolutely do not use beans or tomatoes in their chili. Chili, for Texans, is all about the beef, (being big chunks of steak, not ground beef) and the chili spices. This chili definitely had some heat to it, but Ancho chiles are fairly mild, so I did add a bit of cayenne pepper into the mix, cause we like it hot! This hearty chili was perfect for us, spicy and chock full of incredibly tender and flavourful steak. It cooks for 1 1/2 – 2 hours to achieve its level of yumminess, so make sure you have plenty of time to let it simmer. Patience is a virtue, so I’m told. I served this Texas Beef Chili with some spicy cornbread ebelskivers, but warmed tortillas would also be great. Guess those Texans really do know their chili!

Texas Beef Chili

recipe slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma “Comfort Food” by Rick Rodgers

serves: 8


  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 Cup Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Spanish Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 4 lbs. Boneless Beef Chuck Roast
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Lager Beer
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow Cornmeal

For Serving:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream, minced jalapeño peppers


Place cumin powder, ancho chile powder, paprika, and oregano in bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Cut the beef into 1/2 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. In batches to avoid crowding, add the beef cubes and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add the onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Uncover, add the spice mixture, and stir well for 30 seconds. Stir in the beer and stock. Return the beef to the pot, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the beef is fork-tender, 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Remove the chili from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Return the pot to medium heat and ring to a simmer. Transfer about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to a small bowl, add the cornmeal, and whisk well. Stir into the chili and cook until lightly thickened, about 1 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the chili into warmed bowls and serve hot, with bowls of Cheddar, onions, sour cream, and jalapeños on the side for sprinkling on top.

serves: 8

19 Responses to Texas Beef Chili

  1. Karen says:

    The chili sounds wonderful and I’m happy to have the recipe. That being said, I’m originally from Texas but I personally like tomatoes in the chili. I also have been known to put beans in my chili as well as I like the texture that they give.

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Karen! The chili is very tasty! I am not from Texas and got the info about what Texans like in their chili from the recipe book, no first hand information. It is very interesting to look at chili from different regions and what ingredients are used. I may try some Cincinnati chili next which uses cinnamon and chocolate in the mix and is served over spaghetti!

  2. Theresa says:

    Oooh. I know what we are having for dinner tonight. Brilliant!

  3. I love beans and tomatoes in my chili, but this does sound incredible! When I get home from school, I’m definitely making this for my meat-loving family 🙂

  4. Caitlin says:

    My boyfriend hates beans in chili so I will definitely be trying this before the month is out. It looks absolutely delicious!

  5. This looks so good! I’m definitely making this very soon! I’m not a Texan, but I HATE beans in my chili and I’m not at all a fan of chunky tomatoes either, so this is right up my alley.

  6. […] Texas Beef Chili (from Lea & Jay) […]

  7. ColorexanJann says:

    My friends and I posted a survey where people from all over had to answer “beans” or “no beans.” The response was across the board! Only 2 out of 30 Texans liked beans in their chili and a whopping 90 percent of the other states couldn’t imagine it without beans!! The Texans were pretty serious about it, too! A couple of them (men) posted, “No D*** Beans!” 🙂

    • liadh1 says:

      That’s pretty much what I have heard, though a few Texans have commented to me that they like beans in their chili. I guess they are the minority huh?

      • ColorexanJann says:

        Yes. There were a few Texans, 5 out of 60, if memory serves, but it was an overwhelming number. I’ve figured out that Texans tend to think of chili as a meat dish whereas others from different states consider it a bean dish. Therein lies the difference. 😉

  8. ColorexanJann says:

    If you watch Big Bang Theory, Sheldon had the best line on the Texans attitude towards their chili, originating in San Antonio. It was hilarious! 😀

    Pria: “Sheldon, would you like some homemade chili?”
    Sheldon: “Does it have beans in it?”
    Pria: “Yes.”
    Sheldon: “Then it’s not chili. Real chili has no beans in it, but you’re from a foreign land so your ignorance is forgiven.”

  9. […] temperatures than we are here. We love chili and have already given you a mouth-watering recipe for Texas Beef Chili, which was chock full of steak and not a bean in sight! Today’s chili recipe comes from the […]

  10. […] Recipe & Photo Credit: leaandjay.wordpress.com […]

  11. Anne says:

    8 years later and I still love making this chili! I am pretty excited to make and bring it to a Super Bowl Party this year! Thanks Lea! Love your recipes!!!!

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