Pedernales River Chili Con Carne V. 2.0




Chili Con Carne (Peppers with Meat) is the Official Dish of Texas and as a natural born Texan I would like to think I have a pretty good handle on what makes a good bowl of red.  I have tried MANY different recipes and I have found this to be the best tasting, easy to prepare chili out there. The list of ingredients is short, the preparation is simple and I guarantee your guests will love it.

By the way, you will notice there are no beans in my recipe. True chili does not contain beans. Beans are great on the side but anyone that says beans go in chili is either misinformed or itching for a whoopin.

Here is the list of ingredients:

4 pounds of lean beef, chili or hamburger grind
2 tablespoons of bacon drippings
1 large white onion, chopped
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
3 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of tomato paste
2 cups of boiling water
6 tablespoons of chili powder

Step 1: Melt the Bacon Drippings

Melt the bacon drippings in a large stock pot over medium heat.

Bacon drippings are a staple here in Texas. They make everything better except for maybe coffee and fruit salad. 

If you don't have bacon drippings you can use vegetable oil but your chili won't be as good as it could be.

Step 2: Add the Meat

When the bacon drippings are melted add your meat.

Brown the meat evenly and then drain off the excess grease.

Step 3: Onions and Garlic

Add the onions and garlic. Stir frequently and cook until the onions are translucent.

Step 4: Dump in the Rest!

Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

The amount and kind of chili powder you add is entirely up to you. We tend to like a lot of heat here in Texas so I usually go with 4 or 5 tablespoons of hot chili powder along with 1 or 2 tablespoons of mild chili powder.

Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then reduce the heat so that the chili simmers. Allow the chili to simmer uncovered for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Enjoy!

You can eat the chili as soon as it is done but to be honest it is much better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to mellow and meld.

You can eat the chili as it is with perhaps beans and cornbread, Yankee style over spaghetti or perhaps as another classic Texas dish - Frito Pie! Just pour the chili over Fritos and cheddar cheese.

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    14 Discussions


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the simple recipe. But I have a problem, you see I live in Finland and we don't have much of a chili culture. Where can I use this instead of just sticking my spoon in it and eating all at once? On spaghetti, inside hot dog sandwiches is all I can think of. Any other creative Texan ways?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    A traditional way to eat chili here in Texas is Frito Pie. You put Fritos in a bowl and cover with chili and grated cheese. It is wonderful!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Fritos and cheddar cheese is my style with some sour cream (I'm from California) and scallion onion pieces.

    And for reasons unknown to us non-native Texans, that name is pronounced PERD uh NAL us after the river.  As if you were saying Perd 'n Alice.  It is not pronounced like it is spelled. 

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm with you on the onions. My kids like sour cream in theirs to temper the heat a bit. They also like rice in theirs, which appears to be an East Texas/Louisiana practice. I just take mine straight up.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    And of course I forgot to say what I started to say! That recipe looks fantastic and I'm going to give it a try ASAP.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Just about all of the chili contests don't allow the use of beans or other "fillers" so I stay away from them. But I love some good chipotle pinto beans on the side.

    I often freeze it in quart size freezer bags. I almost think it tastes better after a long sit in the deep freeze.