Competition-Style Texas Chili

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Competition-Style Texas Chili
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I grew up eating … chili. On those nights I could count on a pot of relatively thin chile-infused soup with ground beef and chopped onions. It was good — I have fond memories of eating it over a bowl of elbow macaroni. Still, as I’ve grown older, I prefer a version that better sticks to my ribs.

The following recipe is CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) style, with a more intense aroma and flavor than what you’d normally find in a bowl of red. The main difference is that contest cooks tend to use cubed meat. My version uses the ground version.


  • 1 each – 12 oz & 6 oz can, tomato paste
  • 3 lbs – Beef chuck, coarsely ground
  • 2 qts – Beef stock
  • 1/2 cup – Chili powder
  • 2 – Dried Ancho chiles, stemmed and torn into 3-4 pieces
  • 1 – Chipotle chile en adobo, roughly chopped
  • 1 – Large onion, diced
  • 3 – Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB – Cumin powder
  • 1 TB – Oregano, preferably Mexican Oregano
  • 1-3 tsp – Cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preference
  • 2 tsp - Salt, plus more to taste when serving


  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, combine beef stock and tomato paste; mix in next 8 ingredients; then add (raw) beef. Stir lightly to combine.
  2. Cover, bring heat to medium, stirring occasionally. After about an hour, the pot should come to a light simmer. Once there is slight bubbling, turn off the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. The following day (or even 2-3 days later), skim congealed fat from cold chili; then cover and place over low heat. Once it has warmed to room temperature and liquefied somewhat (about 30 minutes), remove the lid and raise heat to medium, stirring occasionally. (The consistency should still be slightly soupy. If not, add another cup of beef stock.) Simmer uncovered for about 1½ hours, until chili has reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.



Sharp Cheddar, shredded
Queso Quesadilla or Mozzarella (mild white cheese), shredded
Chopped fresh Cilantro
Sliced Jalapeno peppers
Beans (Pinto)
Saltine crackers
Corn/Tortilla chips
Elbow macaroni
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Yield: This makes about 12 servings

5 Responses to “Competition-Style Texas Chili”

  1. Ben March 3, 2021 at 12:21 pm #

    Is there a step missing with regard to the anchos? Most recipes mention soaking and blending them, but this just said dump the torn dried strips into the mix. Thanks, looks amazing!

  2. Ben March 6, 2021 at 9:07 am #

    No one will ever answer my question. I’m stuck here, alone, on a chili recipe website. Oh well, I can think of worse fates.

  3. Kirk July 4, 2021 at 6:47 pm #

    I’m here with you Ben.

  4. Sandra October 17, 2021 at 4:06 pm #

    It says add next 8 ingredients then meat; the ingredients under tomato paste includes the beef, and even without the beef, there are more than 8 ingredients? Confused. Sandra

  5. Jerry Greene February 23, 2022 at 3:17 pm #

    First three items don’t count, the last salt to taste don’t count, that leaves 8 items.

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