My first Texas chili

My no-beans chiliLast night, instead of going to the gym, I did some grocery shopping and tried, for the first time, to make chili without beans and corn and all the non-paleo stuff that made my time-tested rockstar chili such a hit.

I knew better than to try it last night and judge the outcome right away. Chili is one of those things that’s always better on Day 2.

So tonight, after a short workout at the gym, I came home and fired up my first sample. And while it’s not perfect… yet, I was quite pleased with the outcome. So, here it is:


  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 29-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 C beef broth
  • 2 lb beef, cut to small bite-sized cubes
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

In a pot, heat olive oil and brown the beef.  Add the onions and green peppers and cook till they’re soft. Add the green chiles and all the spices except the cinnamon and cocoa. Stir well and let flavors start to blend. Cook about 10 minutes at medium heat (bubbly, but not boiling).

Add the beef stock and crushed tomatoes, stir in the cinnamon and cocoa, cook at medium heat for 30 minutes.  When you add the can of tomato paste, the chili will thicken up quickly. Turn the heat to low and cook another 10 minutes. It may bubble and splatter, so be careful.  (If you want a thinner chili, add more beef stock and let it cook in.)

On the first snowy night in Chicago, it was a perfect dinner for me.  There was a little more late heat than I like, but I’ll figure out how to mellow it out a bit next time. And it helped warm me up after being out in the cold, sleet, and wind.

Now, I have a couple meals worth in the fridge and two containers in my freezer for later. Definitely a good start to a staple in my life. Not quite convinced that Texas Chili is better than the “with beans” kind, but it fits my paleo lifestyle more closely, and is a flavor I could learn to love.

And for my next trick, since I’m only working 2.5 more days before January 2, I’ll try recreating the Gnome’s zucchini bars, so I can take them to Pajama Christmas on the South Side.

Till tomorrow,


5 thoughts on “My first Texas chili

  1. azvbgirl

    Sounds amazing! I would try sautéing the meat & veggies in coconut oil or bacon fat though as opposed to olive oil next time. =) I think I’ll make a pot of pumpkin chili for NYE!


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