McAfee's Kick-Ass Texas Chili

(makes 18 side dishes of very hot chili, and fills a large pot)

  • 5 pounds round steak
  • 1.5 pounds ground round
          or lean ground beef
  • 3 medium onions chopped fine
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped coarse
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsps crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsps cumin
  • 3 tbsps red pepper
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • Tabasco or similar red pepper sauce
  • 21 oz. (2 cans) beef broth

Cut steak into 1/2 inch cubes. Put half the steak in a teflon coated frying pan and sprinkle liberally (it should touch every cube) with red pepper sauce. Grill until browned, then dump in unheated stockpot. Repeat with second half of the steak (with more hot sauce), adding onions, garlic and 1 tablespoon each of cumin and red pepper, and cook until meat is browned, then add to stockpot. Add oregano, beef broth, tomatoes, remaining cumin and pepper to the stockpot, and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer uncovered. Cook the ground round, sprinkling liberally with hot sauce, and add cooked ground round to stockpot. Simmer 90 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Notes: This isn't a true Texas chili, since it has tomatoes. Tomatoes can be deleted for authenticity, but replace with a soupcan of water in that case.

Cooking the meat with hot sauce produces that "delayed reaction" hotness, and mixes nicely with the crushed red pepper, for a more complex flavor. The ground round thickens the consistency of the chili.

Buying thin steaks, cutting them into strips and then cutting the strips is much easier than any other method of cutting the steak except having the store do it.

I microwave ground beef as follows. Find a plastic collander and a non-metal bowl that the collander will fit into. Place ground beef in collander, and microwave. Mix up the beef every 2-3 minutes, cooking until desired consistency is reached. For the chili, I continually add hot sauce as I do this. It makes very lean yet flavorful ground beef, as much of the fat drains into the collander. After microwaving beef several times, the collander becomes dedicated to this task.

This recipe was first published in Texas Cooking, by Ernestine Q. Sunderland and others.

"If it has beans, it ain't chili."