Photo from the
Recipe by Frank X. Tolbert, from his book A Bowl of Red, published by Texas A&M University Press, 1953.
Frank Tolbert founded the Terlingua International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas
and owned a chain of chili parlors in Dallas, Texas.
Learn about the history and legends of
Chili Con Carne
More of Linda's great
Soup, Stew, and
Tolbert's Original Bowl of Red
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 20 min
3 pounds lean beef
1/8 pound rendered beef kidney suet (if you want to go for it)
1 teaspoon each oregano, cumin powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and Tabasco
3 tablespoons chile powder (optional)
4 hot chile peppers
At least two chopped cloves of
2 teaspoons masa harina, cornmeal, or flour (optional)*
* The masa adds a subtle, tamale-like taste, but it
also thickens the chili.
Sear beef in a large soup pot or
Dutch oven. You may need a little
oil to prevent the meat from sticking. When the meat is all
gray, add suet and chile peppers and about two inches of liquid
(you can use water, I use beer). Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add spices and garlic, bring just to boil; lower heat and simmer for
45 minutes. NOTE: Add more liquid only to keep the mix from burning.
Skim off as much grease as you can, and add masa harina. Simmer
for another 30 minutes. Taste and adjust spices if necessary.
This is a spicy chili, so leave out some of the spicy
stuff in the beginning if you have a tender tongue.
At this point, I refrigerate the chili overnight which allows the
chili to mellow and you can skim off all the grease.