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This is an amazing recipe. It’s so good, we always make a double batch and freeze some. We’re talking Texas-style chili, so there’s no beans. The secret ingredients are homemade chili powder and chocolate.


5 assorted dried chiles. The more variety the better. Try some anchos, Anaheims, and chipotles. Whatever you can get!
4 slices of bacon
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound coarsely ground beef
3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 shakes of Tobasco sauce (aw heck, try 3)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use the good stuff!)
28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 tablesppns masa harina mixed with 1 tablespoon water to make a smooth paste

Condiments (You did know chili has conidments, right?)

1 cup shredded sharp Chedder
2 cups sour cream (reduces the fire as needed)
1 large red onion, diced
tortilla chips (or Fritos, if you’re making Frito Pie, tasty!)
sliced jalapeno peppers (for the real studs among you)


Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees and put the chiles on a baking sheet for 10 minutes to dry them out. Break them open and get rid of stems and seeds, then stick the rest in a food processor. Now yo’ve got your own chili powder, and it packs a tasty kick.

In a large pan, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent–about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon. You can use it for BLTs or breakfast, but it ain’t goin; in this chili. We just wanted the pork fat to fry things in, not the bacon itself. Depending on time of day, our Schnauzer thinks she’s gone to heaven if we can’t think of anything else to do with it.

Increase the heat to medium-high and brown the beef with the onion and garlic in these drippings. Now we’ve got pork fat and beef fat: woohoo! Using a large spoon, remove as much fast as possible (sigh, but it’s the right thing to do).

Stir in your ground chiles and the rest of the spices. Whoa! Smells like chili now!

Add the chocolate in little chunks and keep stirring. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beef stock. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat, for about 1 1/2 hours.

Stir in the masa harina mixture and cook for another 10 minutes.

Okay, now it’s time to eat!

Put some tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl, top off with chili, and then add the condiments of you choice. Try this with a tasty margarita (see the Michael Cichon “Southside” recipe) and you’ll see it goes down good!

This is one of those recipes that gets better with age. Freeze it in blocks and microwave when ready to eat. It is better over time. This chili is so easy to make, I’d keep some in the freezer all the time if I didn’t eat it so fast.