Texas Gravy

A ubiquitous dish steeped in tradition. Although modern, overcomplicated, and pretentious versions have pervaded kitchens everywhere it’s OK. Why? Well, because Chili is that dish that lends itself perfectly to personalization. It’s a great dish, but like an Italian and Sunday Gravy, chili often becomes the victim of harsh judgment since almost everyone has a chili reference they compare to or certain chili rules like no beans or must use dried whole chili peppers which are first toasted then ground to a powder. This is limiting, but for those like me, chili is an art form open to interpretation so no true version should exist. I mean rules are meant to be broken, right? So let’s stop yearning for the perfect and best of everything and just eat!

With that said…

You will need:

2lbs 85% lean ground beef @ room temp

10 Slices hickory smoked bacon cut in 1/4’s

4 Sweet bell peppers – mixed colors (GYRO)

2 Vidalia Onions – chopped

4 Cloves fresh garlic

4 Cloves roasted garlic mash (~1T)

2T Dried Greek oregano

2t Kosher salt/1t crushed black pepper

1T Rendered duck lard

2T Soy sauce (Don’t forget about the Umami dimension of flavor)

4T Worchestire

1 Lager beer (I used Dos Equis)

1 28oz can diced tomatoes (I used Tuttarusso)

2 Cans Red Kidney beans (optional)

Chili Powder Mix:

4T Chili powder

3T Smoked paprika

1T Ancho chili powder

1T Cocoa chili powder

1T Garlic powder

2T Liquid Smoke

4t Garam Masala (Secret ingredient)

2t Cumin

1.5t Chipotle powder

Let’s Make Some Texas Gravy!

Ok, first things first, heat up that duck fat

Believe me, it’s worth it

Brown your beef. Be careful you don’t kill it

As soon as it’s uniformly brown kill the flame and set aside

Should look like this…Cover, we’ll come back to this in a bit

Bacon baby!

Grab ~10 slices and quarter

Fry in a heavy bottom pot

Preferably in the same pot you’re cooking the chili

Get it going, try to separate the chunks so they cook evenly

Goal is to get nice crispy pieces that will hold up in the chili

Reserve about 2T of that fat for sautéing veggies

Once crisp, toss on paper towels to absorb some oil

Heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat

Toss in your chopped onions

Cook for ~5mins

Add the chopped garlic and roasted garlic mash

Stir to combine

Careful, you don’t wanna you know what…

Dice up your bells

Toss into the onions and garlic, along with the bacon and stir

Grab dos dos equis –  they don’t call it dos for nothing

One for you, one for chili

Dump it in and bring to a boil for ~5mins

Drop to simmer and prep your spice mix

Time to spice things up a bit…

Grab all of your dry spices and herbs

Add to a bowl big enough to stir

Add your ground beef to the pot and then toss in the spices

Mix really well

Where there’s smoke there’s flavor!

Add to pot and stir

Add your tomatoes and stir it all together

A voice in the distance, starting to smell good in here!

Thanks babe

I hope it’s not to spicy for me though

Uhh…sure babe I made it just right no worries…

Ok good, because you know how much I hate spicy

It’s chili for crissakes not a Bolognese!

Cover and let it simmer for ~1hr

Take a peek…

Once I feel it’s done I let it cool and refrigerate overnight

I know you can’t believe I’m not eating it right away, but honestly…

I think it tastes better the next day

When it’s time to serve, heat as much as you want in a sauce pot

Toss in a handful of shredded sharp cheddar and white American (trick I got from craftsteak in NYC)

Stir until melted

I serve my chili with some white rice

Go make some if you’re into that

Fill up an oven-safe bowl or mug and top it with shredded cheddar or your cheese of choice

Put under broiler for ~2mins until browned and bubbly

Some Tostito scoops, dollop of sour cream, sliced pickled jalapeno, onion rings…

Toppings are endless

It’s a little spicy, don’t cry about it you’re eating chili…

Man up!

Enjoy!

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6 responses to “Texas Gravy

  1. Well, I learned a new term today. Texas Gravy. To me, chili is just one of those dishes that even when it’s bad, it’s still good. This one looks outrageous 🙂

  2. Damn- you just made my day with this post- always searching for that one thing to make on a cold day, and believe me it’s cold up here. Thanks!

  3. My absolute favorite cheese to have with chili is Cabot’s Seriously Sharp cheddar (it has a Buffalo Plaid label). It freaking sings with chili.

    Completely agree that a day of rest makes chili taste even better.

  4. This looks pretty damn tasty, and of just the right consistency to serve Cincinnatti style, if you’re into that.

  5. OMG – crazy good chilli is what that is!

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