Texas Red Chili

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Arguments abound as to what makes a good chili, but any self-respecting Texas chili is devoid of beans and uses cut-up steak instead of ground meat. This recipe tries to stay true to the Texas tradition.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons diced canned jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1b. venison bottom round steak, cut into 1 × ½ × ¼-inch strips
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)



In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients, except venison strips, cheese and sour cream. Set aside.

Meanwhile, spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add venison strips. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Add meat to saucepan. Mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until flavors are blended and chili is desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Garnish individual servings with cheese and sour cream.

Tip: If desired, add a can of rinsed and drained red kidney beans to chili, we won’t tell.


Yield: 4-6 servings

Time: 90 minutes

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