Big Bend Texas-Style Chili

"The saying goes that there are as many chili recipes in Texas as there are Texans; why, even LBJ, the late president, had his own favorite recipe. There are many schools of thought when it comes to the subject of chili. Some purists favor chopped beef, others ground beef, as here; some swear by kidney beans, others dismiss them as an adulteration! Whatever their preferences, chili fans should know that every fall in Terlingua, a hamlet nestled in the mountainous Big Bend area of southwestern Texas, a national chili cookoff is held that arouses considerable passions. Grizzled old hands and aspiring cooks alike converge on the area from all quarters and enjoy one another's company as well as the world-class chili. Since this dish contains dark beer, consider using the same beer as a beverage. A lighter style of red wine such as a Beaujolais or Italian Bardolino will also work well with this flavors. Most chili dishes actually taste better the next day, after the flavors have had time to marinate and marry. You can use black beans instead of kidney beans if you prefer, or a mixture of the two."
photo by Diana Adcock photo by Diana Adcock
photo by Diana Adcock
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Heat the olive oil in a arge saucepan. Add the garlic and onions, and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the beef and saute for 7 to 8 minutes longer, while stirring frequently, or until the beef is well browned on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the chili powder, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, beer, vinegar, cumin, oregano, and parsley, and stir well to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with the goat cheese.

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  1. Big Bold Flavor is what this is. Made it this morning so it can sit for a few days. Chili Dogs are on the menu this weekend and I wanted to give this chili time to develop it's flavors. My one spoonful taste turned into 4. Made for CQ2015 and I will make it again!


I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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