Texas Red All Beef Chili

American, Mexican
Big Red

Chili is uniquely American and was created in San Antonio, Texas, around the 1850s. In Texas, this is called a "bowl of red." This original recipe has no beans and is only beef. It takes 4 to 5 hours of kitchen time and is based on a Paul Prudhomme recipe. It has chilies and cumin in multiple sections, so tally up before buying ingredients. This dish makes 12 extremely generous servings. Click here for the beef and bean recipe.
Beef Seasoning Mix:
1 tablespoon ground Guajillo chile pepper (can substitute another medium-heat ground chile - Chimayo, ancho or pasilla)
1 tablespoon ground hot Arbol chile pepper (or another ground hot chile)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin

5 pounds beef top round or chuck, cut into half-inch dice
3 dried ancho or poblano peppers (or 1 Jalapeño and 2 Pasilla)
3 dried Arbol peppers or any small, thin hot red chile peppers
6 dried Serrano or Guajillo peppers (or 2 Serrano, 2 Jalapeño, 2 California)
1/4 pound salt pork cut into quarter-inch dice (can substitute diced bacon)
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
6 cups chopped onions, divided use
6 cups chopped green bell peppers, divided use
3 cups chopped celery, divided use
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
6 cups beef stock (or chicken or pork stock)
8 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and smashed with their juices
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Combine beef seasoning mix ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl.

3 Place beef in a bowl and toss with HALF of the seasoning mix. Set aside.

4 Place dried chiles on a baking pan and dry them in the oven until brittle, about 10 to 15 minutes. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove stems, break them apart by hand into a food processor bowl. Blend into a fine powder. Set aside.

5 Place salt pork in a heavy, large pot over low to medium heat. Cover and cook, uncovering the pot occasionally to scrape the bottom, until the salt pork is a deep brown color and fat has rendered, about 30 minutes. Lower heat if necessary to ensure it does not burn. There should be a film at the bottom of the pot that looks like ground red pepper. Remove from heat, then with slotted spoon remove pork and set aside.

6 Return the pot to the burner and set heat to medium-high. When the fat in the pot is hot, add the beef (depending on your pot size, you may need to do this in batches to get proper browning). Cook, turning once or twice, until browned, about 4-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

7 Set heat to medium. In a bowl, combine onions, bell peppers and celery. Add 2/3 of this mixture to the pot, and set reserved 1/3 vegetable mix aside. Add all the garlic and remaining beef seasoning mix to the pot. Stir this sofrito well, add bay leaves, the cover and cook 10-20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender. Remove the lid and cook until the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pot, about 6 minutes. Stir in the ground dried chiles and the browned beef. Cook until the meat sticks and forms a hard crust on the bottom of the pot, about 20 minutes. Take care not to burn.

8 Meanwhile, place the browned salt pork and 1 cup of the stock in a blender container and process until thoroughly blended. (If making less than the full recipe, use 1/3 of the stock in this step.)

9 When the meat has formed a crust on the bottom of the pot, stir in the salt pork stock mixture and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes, the reserved vegetable mix, and 1/2 of the remaining stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot well and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Cover the pot and cook over medium-high heat 6 minutes.

10 Meanwhile, toast cornmeal in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring the cornmeal constantly until the cornmeal is light brown, about 4 minutes. Add the toasted cornmeal to the pot and scrape the bottom.

11 Stir in remaining stock and the cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat. Simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Scrape occasionally if the mixture starts to stick.

12 Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and reheat before serving. Fantastic with toasted corn tortillas and butter.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 12 Servings
Notes NOTE: Part of the charm of this dish is its latitude to use whatever chile peppers are available in your area, whole dried or ground. Buy pure ground chile peppers, not commercial powder. Taste a bit to insure they have the right heat. A spelling note: Chili is the dish, Chiles are the peppers.

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