Big Tex® Chili

Don’t let the cold weather get you down! Warm up with this traditional Texas dish.

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Big Tex® Chili

Created by State Fair Creative Arts competitor Robert Crook – Dallas, Texas
1st Place – Tex-Mex Contest, 2011


3 ancho chilies, seeded
3 New Mexico chilies, seeded
2 pasilla chilies, seeded
2 jalapeno chilies
2 serrano chilies
2 habanero chilies
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
1 (32-oz.) can plum tomatoes with juice
6 strips apple smoked bacon
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. rib-eye, 1/2-inch cut
Salt and pepper to taste
2 med. white onions, chopped
1 T. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili de arbal powder
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 c. beef stock
1 c. chicken stock
1 T. honey
1 T. pure maple syrup
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. Mexican crema
Reserved bacon, chopped


Toast first 3 chilies in skillet over medium-high heat. Press down on chilies with spatula in order to maximize contact with skillet. Place toasted chilies in bowl; cover with lukewarm water. Place a plate over the chilies to completely submerge. Soak 30-45 minutes, drain and place in bowl of blender.

Place jalapeno, serrano and habanero chilies on baking sheet and roast in preheated 450º oven. Peppers should soften and begin to brown slightly, 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove seeds and place in blender with first 3 chilies. Add chipotle chili, tomatoes and process until smooth. Pass mixture through sieve and set aside.

Fry bacon in Dutch oven until bacon has rendered majority of its fat. Remove bacon, chop and set aside.

Season beef with salt and pepper and brown beef in batches, 2-3 depending on size of Dutch oven. Remove and set aside.

Add onions to Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat until soft and golden brown. Add cumin, chili de arbal powder to onions and cook 1 minute. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add pureed chili tomato mixture to Dutch oven, cook over medium heat 30 minutes. Add reserved cooked beef, beef stock, chicken stock, honey, maple syrup and chocolate; simmer 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender.

Serve with reserved bacon and crema.

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