We make chili year round in Texas. It’s what sustains us. 110 degrees in the dead of summer? Time to make chili. Leaves a falling in East Austin? Time to make chili. There is simply no food that nourishes the soul and feeds the spirit like a kettle of chili.

We make all kinds: Texas Red, Kentucky White, Mexican brown…you name it. If it involves chile peppers and few hours on the stovetop we’ll tackle it and wrestle it around til it turns into food.

It’s alchemy. Texas style. When that cold north’r blew through last week we ran down to Savory Spice shop on West 6th street and bought a bag of Jalapeno powder and set to making a batch of Green Mexican Chili. While we’re certain it already exists, we had never heard of such a thing nor tried it before.

No matter, this recipe is solid Mexican gold.

Recipe: Green Mexican Chili


2 lbs Beef, ground, the fattier the better

1 T. Cumin

2 T. Jalapeno, powder, ground

2 t. Garlic powder

1/4 c. Masa Harina

salt to taste

6 each Tomatillas, charred, pureed


* Brown meat in heavy bottom pan

* Add dry spices

* Cook for 15 minutes, mixing thoroughly

* Water and fat will rise to the surface

* Sprinkle masa harina over the liquid and stir to incorporate

* Cook 10 minutes more

* Add pureed tomatillas, simmer for 15 minutes or til chili thickens

* Adjust flavors with salt

This recipe yields an ecstatic kettle of food. The green chile powder and tomatillas coalesce into a hot brightness while the masa harina gives a rounded nuttiness to the dish. It is one of those recipes that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

We ladled it onto crispy taco shells, added Colby/Jack cheese and Crema Salvadorena and had an absolute feast.

Later iterations saw the chili converted into Frito pie, and it also served as a fine garnish for charred hamburgers cooked in an ancient cast-iron pan then slathered with Chipotle mayonnaise.

Bon Appetit y’all

bonus Authentic Texas Red Chili chili

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