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Texas Chilli

I know what you’re thinking – “what’s a British boy who’s never been to Texas doing writing a recipe about Texas Chilli”? It’s true that I have never, to my regret, experienced an authentic Texas chilli yet. But I am obsessed with pretty much everything regarding the cuisine of the southern states of the USA – whether it’s things like smokey BBQ, fried chicken, cornbread, pecan pie… or the Texas Chilli.

What makes a Texas Chilli different from a regular Chilli Con Carne? Well, from what I’ve been able to glean from studying various recipes is that there’s a couple of things that set it apart. The main difference is that there are definitely no beans in a Texas Chilli – whether it’s kidney beans or baked beans, they do not go in! Another difference that I could see was that there’s no tomatoes in a Texas Chilli. So all you’re relying on is the beef, onions and a plethora of spices that is cooked long and slow to create a chilli that is melt-in-the-mouth tender and with a beautiful depth of flavour. For my take on this American classic, I’ve used three different types of beef, including Ox Tail that will cook on the bone to give a wonderful, rich flavour. You can experiment with the chillies to get the heat you desire – I found that my recipe gives a nice kick of heat and spice without being overwhelming. I cooked this on the stove in a saucepan, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t cook it in a slow cooker.


Print Recipe
Serves: 4 - 6 Cooking Time: 8 hours (min)


  • 750g Beef Mince
  • 600g Rump Steak, diced
  • 2 x Ox Tails
  • 100g Bacon
  • 8 x Sweet Peppers
  • 4 x Jalapeno Peppers
  • 8 x Birds Eye Chillies, dried
  • 6 x Red Chillies, dried
  • 8 x Sweet Peppers
  • 8 x Shallots
  • 8 x Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Chipotle Powder (or another tbsp of Smoked Paprika)
  • 1 tbsp Hot Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 x Cinnamon Stick
  • 600ml Beer (or beef stock)
  • 1 tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 50ml Bourbon (optional)
  • Olive Oil



Firstly, cut the steak into 1 - 2" chunks.


Now, place a very large saucepan onto a medium high heat.


Chop the bacon into pieces and cook in the pan until it's browned and crispy, and place to one side in a bowl.


In the bacon fat, cook the beef mince, beef steak and ox tails in batches - adding some extra oil when necessary - so that everything gets nicely browned all over. Place into a bowl with the bacon to one side once browned.


Now roughly chop the onions and garlic and cook in the pan until the onions are softened and slightly browned. Then roughly chop the sweet peppers and jalapeno peppers and add into the pan with the onions and cook for a few minutes so that they soften.


Add the browned meats back into the pan and mix with the onions and peppers.


Now add in the all the herbs, spices, salt, pepper and brown sugar and mix into the meat, coating everything as best as you can.


Add in the beer, bourbon and hot sauce and stir well and bring up to a gentle simmer.


Turn the heat down to low, place the lid on, and leave for a long, slow cook for around 8 hours. If the chilli does look it has too much liquid, then you can remove the lid from the saucepan for the last hour to let it reduce and thicken.


Serve with rice or tortilla chips and a sprinkling of melted cheese, and a nice, cold beer.

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