This classic Texas chili (no beans, no onion, no tomatoes) was created by native
Houstonian Carter Rochelle, a professional fund-raiser. Former New York Times food
editor Craig Claiborne once pronounced this chili his favorite and published the
recipe in two of his cookbooks.
Serve with pinto beans and chopped onion on the side to mix in as desired. Serve
with crackers, tortilla chips, warmed flour tortillas or corn bread.
3 pounds boneless beef stew meat (chuck or round)
6 ounces beef suet (hard
white fat), cut into pieces (see note)
3 or 4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons chili powder,
or to taste
8 tablespoons Masa Harina (Mexican corn flour)
6 cups hot water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon or beef bouillon
Red chiles, crushed or dried and chopped, to taste (optional)
Remove gristle and most of fat from meat; cut into 1/2-inch or smaller cubes
(some of the beef should be chipped or flaked).
Place suet in large skillet or heavy
kettle and render it (cook until fat melts).
Skim residue off rendered suet; discard
Add meat to hot fat and sauté until lightly browned.
Add garlic, salt, black
pepper and chili powder. Mix well and let seasonings permeate meat a few minutes.
Sprinkle in Masa Harina and mix, stirring rapidly until smooth.
Add water, vinegar,
bouillon and chilies. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is very tender; some of
the meat should virtually dissolve into the chili.
If chili becomes too dry while cooking, add a little water from time to time.
When done, skim fat from surface. (You can refrigerate overnight
and scrape hardened fat off before reheating.)
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Because of health concerns, many chili cooks substitute 1/4 cup to 1/2
cup vegetable oil or shortening for rendered beef suet, which is a highly saturated