m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Texas Chili

I cut Lisa Fein’s Seven Chili recipe roughly in half for my hunk of meat, and reduced the chili count to 5 (since restored). I also omitted the coffee per one of the comments.


  • 2 lbs. chunkable beef, trimmed and cut to ¼" cubes.
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz. Guinness
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ T. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. ground clove
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • ¼ tsp. grated Mexican chocolate
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 T. masa harina (optional)


  • 2 anchos (or 4–5, about 3 oz., if skipping the others)
  • 1 pasilla
  • 1 guajillo
  • 2 arbols
  • 1 chipotle (I used canned, not dried)
  • 2 piquins
  • ½ c. water


  1. Stem and seed chiles.
  2. Toast all but the piquins in a dry saute pan for about 10 seconds per side (to puff).
  3. Add water to cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Soak ½ hour.
  5. Meanwhile, in a heavy pot, brown the beef in the oil.
  6. Remove beef and cook onions until translucent.
  7. Add garlic briefly, then return beef to pot.
  8. Add remaining non-chile ingredients except masa harina, and bring to a boil.
  9. Puree all the chiles in the ½ c. water.
  10. Add puree to pot.
  11. Once it’s boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3–4 hours.
  12. Scoop out some broth to combine with masa harina, then add back.
  13. Simmer ½ hour longer.


Tortilla chips are supposed to be a good substitute for masa harina, but I ended up skipping that step altogether.

You can make the chili in a crockpot: chop the beef chunkier (1 inch) and toss in fresh chilis (if you have them) as in Spicy 3 Chilies Texas Chili a la Crock Pot, or follow the chili mash procedure above. You can crock it on high for 5 hours according to Mike Vrobel instead of the 8–10 hours at low you see elsewhere; he also recommends browning one batch of the beef only, on one side only.