How long has it been since you had a big hot steamin’ bowl of Real Texas Chili?….Well, that’s too long! If you’re like me you grew up with Wolf Brand Chili as the standard for frito pies, hot dogs and even poured over crunched up crackers and to this day, as much as I know how bad it is for me; I still love the stuff. For years I have made a ground beef version of chili and it is quick, good and satisfying, but now and then I want the slow cooked real beef Wolf Brand style. This Chili Con Carne A Spicy Beef Stew makes me think it’s been served fresh off the back of a chuck wagon; a beefy chili stew.
Another thing I like about this chili is that it uses 3 pounds of whatever beef you have handy. I like to shop for the better quality beef and get the manager’s special on it. So if I get a deal on chuck roast, flank steak, round steak, etc. I cut it up and into the pot it goes with the seasonings. Sometimes I cook a whole roast with the seasonings and broth and cut them it up later. It’s a very forgiving dish as long as you use the basic pound of meat specified and correct seasonings, those two things, plus time and heat will make the dish, no matter what.
Oh wow, I can smell this Chili Con Carne Spicy Beef Stew cooking just thinking about it. (I adapted this dish from a recipe in the Houston Chronicle that placed as one of the best of the decade at the end of the ’90’s I bet you’ll never miss the beef suet or the corn flour.) I usually serve this with a low carb “cornbread” or low carb tortillas. It is great with the Wonder Wraps from the book or the topping from my Tamale Pie or the baking blend version of corn bread in the Cheesy Hot Dog Pie just baked as a cheesy corn bread will do the trick!
Chili Con Carne
3 pounds stew meat
2-3 tablespoons olive oil or expeller pressed, refined (no flavor) coconut oil
1 quart beef broth (I use 1 tablespoon Organic Better Than Bouillion Beef Base in 1 quart water)
3 – 6 tablespoons chili powder (use a good, fresh quality, I use 4 tablespoons of organic)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (the better and fresher the spices the better the chili)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon celtic or real sea salt (the kind with the minerals) *add more when done if needed
1 tsp minced garlic cloves
1 can rotel tomatoes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (or more) teaspoon xanthan gum or 1/4 cup THM Baking Blend as needed to make it the consistency you wish.
- Divide into three parts. Heat 1/3 of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the beef cubes in the oil for 2 minutes. Do this three times. This will keep the meat from releasing it’s juices into the skillet. This happens when you crowd the meat and you just need to simmer it UNcovered for a few minutes longer to cook the juices back in if this should occur. It took me many years to learn this and my meat (and meat dishes) have had a lot better flavor ever since.
- As you cook your meat batches put them into your crock pot and keep cooking and adding more meat.
- Once all the meat is browned place it in the crock pot and stir in the 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (the vinegar will give it an extra kick and aid in breaking down the meat to chili consistency)
- In a 4 cup measuring container or quart jar combine the beef broth, chili powder, and cumin, oregano and garlic and salt and stir together. Pour this mixture over the meat and then add the rotel over all.
- Put the lid on the crock pot and cook it either overnight or 6 hours on low. The meat should be falling apart when it is done.
- Now, this is important, remove the lid and just rake it around with a slotted spoon. You don’t want this to be exactly shredded, because you still want recognizable chunks but you don’t want big chunks either.
- If you’re happy with a soup consistency like I am you don’t need to thicken this but if you want it more of a chili consistency follow step #8.
- To thicken: Remove some of the juices with a ladel and whisk in the thickener, either 1/2 tsp xanthan gum or THM baking till it is thickened and lump free (even if you have to use a blender) and pour the thickened juice back over the whole dish. Remember you can add more water if you need to and when you reheat it you might find that it has absorbed all the juices and needs a little more water. If you want it even thicker you can repeat.
- It will have a good flavor now, but will be even better if you refrigerate and let the flavors blend.
- Instapot Friendly Instructions! Saute the meat (I used the saute function and a skillet to hurry the process). When all the meat is in the stainless Instapot bowl add all the spices including the vinegar and broth, but no thickeners, place the bowl in the Instapot and secure the lid making sure the valve is closed. Next set it on manual to 35 minutes and cook! My bite sized pieces were done in that amount of time, but if yours takes a little longer or if you want the meat to fall apart set it for another 5 or 10 minutes, adding broth if you need too. Follow the instructions to thicken it in step 8 if you want, we eat it like a thick soup.
*Note about tomatoes in “Real Texas Chili”. I’m pretty sure that the cooks on the chuck wagons did not have access to tomatoes, but my husband just does not like it without them and he’s a Real Texan so his chili has tomatoes :-).
*I like to serve it over low carb cornbread and topped with sharp cheddar and even grated onion.