Alamo Texas Chili

Makes a large batch of chili


3 Tbsp bacon drippings (otherwise, use olive oil)
1-1/2 large onions, chopped
4 lbs beef stew meat, or coarse ground beef
5 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp ground red chile pepper (we like Ancho Chile or New Mexico Chile)
4 Tbsp Texas Chile Seasoning
1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
2 Tbsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 tsp dried Mexican Oregano
3 small (10 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 small (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 Cups water or stock
2 Tbsp Salt
1/8 Cup dried Parsley (optional)
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)


Heat the bacon drippings in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When the fat is sizzling hot, add the chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently until they are fragrant and translucent.

In a large bowl, combine the beef pieces with the minced garlic, ground chiles, Texas Chili Seasoning and Cumin. Toss to coat meat with the spices, then add seasoned meat to the onions. Cook the stew meat, using a heavy wooden spatula to separate pieces and brown on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 30 min, until meat is well-browned on every side. Season browned stew meat with paprika and oregano.

Add tomato sauce and paste, water, salt, parsley and jalapeno (if using) to the browned meat, stirring to thoroughly coat. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat to a bare simmer. Cook, uncovered, for at least one hour, or until chili reaches your preferred consistency. Stir occasionally, and taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

A word about “Texas-style” chili: a “true” Texas chili does not have beans in it (weird, I know, right?). If you’re like us, and prefer beans in your chili, you can add two cans of (drained, rinsed) beans when you add the tomato sauce and water. You may want to add a little more liquid to accommodate the greater volume of chili ingredients.

Adapted from a recipe at