Real Texas Chili

When many of us think of chili, we associate it with Mexican cuisine. However, Mexicans, in general, consider the dish an imitation of their cuisine that is available in the United States.

The origin of chili is unknown, but many believe the first recipe may have been written by a mysterious nun in Southwestern America back in the 17th century.

While there is no evidence of this, what is a bit more believable is that families emigrated from the Canary Islands to Texas where they made a spicy Spanish stew that is similar to chili in the early 1730’s.

If we continue following history, there are many more who lay claim to the invention of chili throughout the 1800’s including a Dallas millionaire and those residing in Texas prisons. But whatever the origin of the food may be, it certainly is a popular and well loved dish today.

So, although the origin of chili may be up for debate, most sources seem to give Texas credit for coming up with the recipe. That being said, the Texas recipe is arguably most true to what chili is all about.

A true Texas chili will always include meat (chili con carne) and the flavor of the meat along with the flavor of the chili pepper will dominate the dish. There are rarely a lot of fillers included like beans or added vegetables, which can dull the flavor.

Other types of chili include Cincinnati chili which has spices like cinnamon and even cocoa, that can bring a certain sweetness to the dish. Classic chili is another version and generally has more vegetables added.

This recipe is obviously a representation of the classic Texas chili we all know and love. It has just the right kick and the perfect blend of ingredients that lets the flavor be the star. Try cooking some up for your family tonight to find out how much they enjoy this timeless recipe.

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2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef

2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
28 ounces whole tomatoes
12 ounces beer
5 Tablespoons chili powder
2 jalapeño chili, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
cayenne pepper, optional
cheddar cheese, shredded
red onion, chopped
avocado, sliced


1. Heat oil in 6 quart saucepan. Add ground beef, onions and garlic and sauté until meat is browned.

2. Stir in next 7 ingredients and bring to boil over medium-high heat.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, about 45 to 55 minutes.

4. Taste and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with cheese, onion and avocado, if desired.