Buzzard's Breath Chili

No Photo


  • 8 pounds beef (US Choice boneless chuck)
  • 3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • Chili powder (about twice the label amount)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Masa Harina (as needed)
  • 1 quart beef stock


  1. Take meat and chop into 3/8-inch cubes, removing all gristle and visible fat. Brown in an iron skillet, about 2 pounds at a time. Place in a large cast-iron chili pot, adding tomato sauce and equal amounts of water. Add chopped onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers (wrapped in cheesecloth) and chili powder. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. As moisture is required, add homemade beef stock until amount is used, then add water if needed.
  2. Simmer, covered, until meat is tender (about 2 hours), stirring occasionally.
  3. Then add the Masa Harina to thicken if needed. Add paprika for color. Cook 10 additional minutes; correct the seasoning.
  4. Discard the jalapenos and serve.
  5. A small additional amount of cumin enhances aroma when added in the last ten minutes.


Source: Tom Griffin, Houston, Texas - World Championship, Arriba Terlingua, Texas