Bowl of Red 101

Basic Recipe

This is a basic recipe for chili. It is where to start, not where to finish. Make it like this first, then add or change things to suit your own taste.

For instance, add onion, substitute different peppers for the chili powder and cayenne, use stock instead of water, or add beans. You can also use pork shoulder or venison instead of beef.


•  2 T Melted beef fat, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
•  2½-3 lbs Beef chuck or round, coarsely ground
•  ⅓ cup Chili powder, or more if you like it hotter
•  6 Large garlic cloves, finely minced
•  1 T Dried oregano
•  2 t Cumin powder
•  6 c Water
•  2 T Corn meal (masa harina, if you have it)
•  ¾ t Ground cayenne pepper
•  Salt, to taste


Heat the fat in a Dutch oven until you see ripples. Add beef, chili powder, garlic, oregano, and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the beef is browned.
Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered slowly for about an hour, stirring now and then. Make sure there is enough water, adding more if needed.
Add cornmeal slowly, stirring as you do. Then add cayenne and salt. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Adjust seasonings and salt, then cook for another 5 minutes.