The Simple Plate

Texas Style Chili

For years I have searched and tried for the perfect chili recipe, and finally after some hard digging and trial and error….I think I have found the perfect ratio of spice and sweetness, the right amount of heat, and a balanced non acidic base for the chili. At times the flavor is almost humble, yet the guajilllo chili and jalapeño linger in each bite without overwhelming. This recipe takes some time and prep, it’s not your quick weeknight chili but rather the chili you make on a Sunday for your family or a warming main course for a party. It’s divine and worth every bit of elbow grease required. As the days grow shorter and the nights colder, this is the perfect dish to make with your loved ones and warm you up!


1pound ground beef

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

3 dried guajillo peppers

1 tsp pepper

1 square 100% dark chocolate

2 tbsp masa harina (corn flour, found in international section)

1 cup chicken stock

1 large onion, finely diced

2 jalapeños, deseeded and finely diced

2 strips bacon

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can kidney beans

2 tsp minced garlic

Olive oil

How To:

1. Finely dice your onion and jalapeño, making sure to deseed the jalapeños by cutting them in half and using a spoon to scrape the seeds out. Wash hands afterwards.

2. Now take 1 of your guajillo peppers and remove the stem. Pour out the seeds, save for a few. The more seeds the spicer, so that’s your judgement call. Then using a chefs knife, finely chop up the dried pepper the best you can. The finer the better, because next you will place the chopped pepper into a mortar and pestle OR a food processor. The mortar and pestle is ideal, because it will help release the most flavor. However, a food processor is much quicker, just get the pepper as fine as you can.

3. Heat up your Dutch oven or pot and place the two strips of bacon in, cooking until crisp. About 5-7 min. Remove from pan.

4. Now, to the bacon grease add a bit of olive oil and then your ground chili powder along with all of your other dry spices except the masa harina. Toast for 1 minute and then add your jalapeños, onions, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 6-8 min.

5. Next, toss the mixture with the masa harina before adding in your beef. Pinch off chunks of beef into the pot and the cook for about 5 min. It doesn’t have to be done as the beef will continue to cook in the liquid.

6. Then add in your tomatoes, beans, broth, and chocolate. Bring to a hard simmer, stirring to make sure the chocolate is distributed as it melts.

7. Once the chili is simmering, add in your 2 other dried guajillo chilies. Cook for 1hr before removing from the heat. Discard the two peppers and allow to cook before serving.

Note: This chili is phenomenal the second day. I highly recommend storing the fridge overnight and then reheating to serve your family (and maybe guests) the next day.

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