John Gambill's Texas Chili

Total Time
Prep 1 hr
Cook 5 hrs

Having searched for the perfect chili recipe for years this is a savory and spicy concoction that I've developed to suit my own tastes. It's quite a hit in my household.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Brew strong coffee.
  2. Wash, de-vein/de-seed peppers and chop onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro.
  3. On the stove in a large dutch oven fry bacon until crisp.
  4. Remove from oven with a slotted spoon and allow bacon to cool on paper towels.
  5. Brown remaining meats and onions in bacon fat over medium heat, stirring often.
  6. Drain fat and discard.
  7. Add beer and garlic to browned meats, simmer until beer evaporates.
  8. Crumble cooked and cooled bacon and add to the oven.
  9. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  10. Stir well, reduce heat to a slow simmer and cover.
  11. Cook for at least 4 hours (the longer the better) being sure to stir occasionally.
  12. I like to cover and refrigerate it overnight after cooking (this allows the flavors to meld).
  13. The next day bring it back to a boil and reduce heat to a slow simmer for another hour or two (uncovered), stirring often.
  14. You may add more beer or water at this point if it gets too thick or if you like a thicker chili use either 1/2°C masa harina or 1/2°C flour mixed with enough water to make a thin fluid and stir into the hot chili.
  15. You may add more salt to suit your taste at this point.
  16. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  17. Remove bay leaves, if you can find them.
  18. Best served hot and steaming with chopped fresh onions, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, Tabasco sauce, ice cold Heineken, and homemade cornbread.


Most Helpful

PERFECTION!!! I know some of the ingredients sound a little off/weird but don't skip a single one! My DH will not eat beans unless they're re-fried beans, it's a texture thing, but he does back flips over this bean-free chili! I find it helpful to measure and mix all the dry ingredients the night before (as I have a tiny kitchen w/no counter space, plus I like to take the time to "freshly crush" all the dried herbs so the flavors can mingle that much better. A one gallon bag works wonders for that. And if you think that far in advance marinating the "beef" in beer for 2-3 days before it's just AMAZING!!! I cannot rave enough about this chili! Easy to control the spicy by adjusting the jalapeno amount. It goes terrific with "Corn Muffins Like Kenny Rogers Roasters" I top those muffins with vanilla cinnamon honey butter and it's sooooo good no one ever gripes that I didn't make a dessert! FABULOUS STUPENDOUS PERFECTION!!!

Misses Wilson September 14, 2010

WOW!! So yummy! I love meat and don't like beans, so this was the perfect chili for me. We didn't have exactly everything for it, so we improvised some. Ours became a 5 meat chili. We used stew meat instead of ground beef, as someone else suggested. It was wonderfully tender. We only had about 1 and a half pounds of that, so we used enough smoked sausage, with the casing removed, to get to the right amount of meat. For the peppers, we used one small yellow, and one small orange, each being half a cup. Used 2 jalapenos and 1 red banana pepper also. We only had light brown sugar, and we used about a half a tablespoon of celery seed in place of the celery flakes. We did thicken it with flour at the end. This was time consuming, but not too bad since I cut up all of the veggies and mixed the dry ingredients together the day before. Served with some extra sharp cheddar cheese on top and cornbread on the side. We got enough for my husband and I to get 4 dinners out of it. Froze some, so I hope that turns out well when thawed. A note about the jalapeno peppers - I was really good about washing my hands several times after and not touching my eyes and such, but I clearly wasn't thinking when I used my thumb to clean out the inside of the jalapenos. The skin under my thumbs burned for almost 2 days! I will be smarter next time! NOTE - This thawed just fine! We are making more today so we can have some in the freezer for when the mood strikes!

Mark & Stacy October 20, 2007

Time consuming, uses up all sorts of bowls and pans so clean up took longer, expensive if you don't have all ingredients at home but --DELICIOUS...THE BEST!! This is a lot of work but well worth it when cooking for real chili fans. Not for my usual quick chili meal, but I know I will be making it again and again for special times. I did use cut-up stew meat in place of ground beef, since cooking time allowed it to get very tender after browning. My only suggestion is to fry chorizo separately from the other meats because it took so much longer to brown and produced a lot more fat. I served it with all the fixin's John recommended, plus a bowl of ranch beans for those who wanted to throw some in their chili. People were in hog heaven. Can't wait to try it in a smoker.

Mareesme May 16, 2007

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