Bowl of Red

Bowl Of Red

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Chef Potpie (Laurel)


I found this recipe in a magazine back in the 80's, and have made all kinds of changes over the years. My Hubs loves this stuff, while I prefer a chili with beans and just a little bit of meat. I admit that it is very good, though! To Texans, it is my understanding that his is known as "True Texas Chili." Authentically, it is meant to taste of its main ingredients, beef and chilis. That is why I have listed the herbs as optional. I don't use them when I make this recipe. I serve this sprinkled with the cheese and green onions and tortilla chips on the side!


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15 Min
4 Hr
Stove Top


  • 6 Tbsp
    bacon grease, divided. other oil can be used but some flavor will be sacrificed
  • 3 lb
    beef chuck or round, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1
    onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp
    minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp
    ground cumin (optional)
  • 1 tsp
    oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 c
    each pure mild and hot ground chili powder (see note)
  • 1 can(s)
    beef broth
  • 2 1/2 c
  • 1 Tbsp
    masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1 Tbsp
    cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp
    packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp
    kosher salt, to taste
  • ·
    sour cream, for serving
  • ·
    cheddar cheese (optional)
  • ·
    green onions, optional

How to Make Bowl of Red


  1. Over medium high heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt bacon grease until hot, swirl in the pan and add about half of the beef cubes. Leave space between them so they sear, not steam. Brown the cubes on at least 2 sides, about 3 minutes per side, reducing heat if it seems they are beginning to burn. Remove cubes to a bowl and with 2 more tablespoons grease, start on another batch, browning all meat. Set meat aside in bowl.
  2. If skillet seems too brown, wipe it out and melt the final 2 tablespoons of grease. Fry the onions until soft, then add garlic and fry until fragrant, just a minute or so.
  3. Now add the beef broth, water, chili powders, masa harina gradually, whisking to avoid lumps, and about 1 teaspoon salt. If using the optional herbs, add them now. Return the beef and any juices in the bowl. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer; you want this to be just barely simmering, (just a few bubbles coming up),so the liquid doesn't evaporate too much before the meat gets tender.
  4. Keep this simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. You should have about 2 cups or so of thick liquid surrounding the meat, and the meat should be tender.
  5. Now stir in the vinegar and brown sugar and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. The meat will continue to absorb the sauce. If you feel there is still too much liquid after 30 minutes, lightly mash the cubes to allow for more absorption and simmer a while longer.
  6. When ready to serve, gently rewarm the chili and serve with a dollop of sour cream and lime wedge. (I admit, we also sprinkle with cheddar cheese and green onion!)

Printable Recipe Card

About Bowl of Red

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Southwestern
Dietary Needs: Gluten-Free Dairy Free

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