Kessler’s Famous Texas Style Chili

Recipe by Kyle Kessler

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8-12 (depending on your bowl size)   


2 lbs. ground chuck
2 lbs. charcoal steaks
¼ cup chili powder
4 tbsp. paprika
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. pepper
2½ tsp. Tony Chachere’s seasoning
3 (10 oz. cans) canned tomatoes diced with chilis
4 (8 oz. cans) tomato sauce
1½ cups water
4 (15 oz. cans red beans)NOT CHILI BEANSThey are already seasoned.


     In a large pot, over medium heat, sweat down onions with olive oil until soft and transparent, remove from heat. Dice charcoal steaks into ¼” pieces . Put diced steak and ground chuck in pot with onions and brown. Season with salt and pepper and Chachere’s seasoning. Drain meat and onion mixture. Drain and pour beans over the onion and meat mixture. Stir them in really well. Then drain and pour the tomatoes and chilis over mixture. Stir it in really well. Add tomato sauce. Stir in remaining ingredients. The key to having a well balanced chili, is to mix every ingredient in with every other ingredient, so stirring is a must. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

     TIP # 1: Season each layer. Example: Season onions while they are cooking, when you add the meat, season the meat, when you add the beans, season them as well and so on. That way he seasonings get to every part of the dish.

     TIP # 2: Do not use “chili beans.” They are already seasoned and will clash with your seasonings. I use kidney beans and red beans.

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