Reno Red Chili

Recipe by Molly53
READY IN: 1hr 50mins
SERVES: 12-15


  • 5
    5 lbs ground round or 5 lbs ground beef brisket (ask the butcher for "chili grind")
  • 14
    cup Wesson Oil or 1/4 cup rendered kidney suet
  • 2
    medium onions
  • 5
    teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 8
    tablespoons commercial chili powder (Make sure you get chili powder, not a chili mix or ground chili pepper!)
  • 3
    cloves garlic
  • 2
    tablespoons msg (optional)
  • 5 -15
    chili pods, depending on heat level desired (if pods are not available, use cayenne pepper to taste)


  • Remove stems, membrane and seeds from chili pods, cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove pods and blend into paste.
  • Reserve the chili water.
  • Chop onions.
  • Crack cumin with rolling pin or grind with mortar and pestle.
  • Brew 1 teaspoon oregano leaves in 1 cup of water.
  • Brown meat in several batches, add black pepper while browning.
  • Brown onions with meat then remove with slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Combine browned meat and onion with the following: cumin, 8 heaping tablespoons of commercial chili powder, 3 cloves garlic (pressed) and MSG.
  • Cook ten minutes, using just enough pepper water to keep from burning.
  • Stir constantly.
  • This cooks the spices into the meat.
  • Add chili paste and half of oregano water.
  • Cook slowly, adding pepper water as necessary to prevent scorching.
  • Add additional oregano to taste, salt to taste.
  • The meat should be tender in around 1-1/2 hours.
  • Cooking Variations:
  • Add 1 to 2 cans 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce.
  • Hand cut meat to about the size of a navy bean.
  • (A lot of contestants now use half chili grind and half hand cut).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar 10 minutes before serving.
  • Use white pepper instead of black pepper.
  • Use masa/corn flour (not cornstarch) to thicken (mix flour with cold water and whisk until smooth, then pour into hot chili while stirring constantly until thickened).