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The Hirshon Texas Chili


Units Scale
  • 8 dried ancho peppers
  • 6 dried guajillo peppers
  • 6 dried pasilla peppers (be careful these aren’t anchos, sometimes they are mislabeled)
  • 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, reserve 2 tbsp. adobo sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Knorr Aromat seasoning (optional but recommended) If unavailable, use 1 1/2 cubes Knorr chicken bouillon, ground to a powder – typically this is available on Amazon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Bolner’s Fiesta Brand Mesquite-flavored fajita seasoning mix – avialable on Amazon
  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/4”-size pieces
  • 2 pounds bison chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/4”-size pieces (TFD prefers this, but you can also just use beef chuck)
  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat (or use vegetable oil if you must)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 teaspoons freshly-ground cumin
  • 1 Dove dark chocolate square
  • 32 ounce box reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 15 ounce jar tomato sauce
  • 14 1/2 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 12 ounce bottle bock-style lager – TFD endorses the quintessential Texas beer: Shiner Bock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • Toppings such as sour cream, snipped fresh cilantro, sliced fresh jalapeno peppers, shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a dry extra-large skillet toast dried chile peppers, half at a time, over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant, turning often. Let cool. Remove stems, seeds, and membranes from peppers. Tear peppers into pieces and place in a large bowl; add 5 cups boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chiles to a blender. Add 3 cups of the soaking liquid and the spices and garlic except the cumin. Cover and blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing the liquid through and scraping the inside of the sieve using a rubber spatula; discard solids.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the fat over medium-high heat. Cook meat, in batches, until browned, adding the remaining fat as needed. Remove meat from pan; set aside.
  4. Add onions to drippings in pan. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add cumin; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add chile puree. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Return meat to pan. Add broth, tomato sauce, reserved adobo sauce, chocolate, tomatoes, beer, and oregano. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 1 hour. Uncover and simmer 1 hour more or until beef is tender and chili is slightly thickened. If you can do this cooking over an open mesquite fire instead of an oven, by all means do so!
  6. Slowly sprinkle masa harina into the chili stirring constantly to incorporate. If you don’t have masa harina, use tortilla chips or corn tortillas to thicken the chili. Lightly coat both sides of 2 corn tortillas with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Cut each tortilla into 6 pieces. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool on wire rack. Finely crush 9 of the tortilla pieces or purchased tortilla chips (about 1/2 ounce) into a fine powder. Use 2 tablespoons crushed chips in place of the masa.
  8. Simmer 15 minutes or until thickened. Ideally, let cool in the fridge overnight and reheat. Serve with desired toppings.