Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Texas-Style Chili with Dried-Chile Broth

Authentic Texas chili is all about beef and smoky chile flavor—not beans and tomatoes. For extra smokiness and a rich chile depth, I toasted mild, dried New Mexico chiles and spicy chiles de arbol to create a base for the broth. Just a small amount of tomato puree adds a little sweet balance and helps with thickening.

New Mexico Chiles and Chiles de Arbol
The most important ingredient in a pot of delicious Texas chili is time—give it plenty, and your guests will thank you.

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 oz dried New Mexico chiles (5-6 chiles)
  • 1/2 oz dried chiles de arbol (14-16 chiles)
  • 3 cups beef broth, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2-1/2-lb beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 fresh, hot chiles (such as cayenne, serrano, or fresh chiles de arbol), chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic-butter toast and sour cream, for serving
Beef Ready to Braise
  1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium heat and add the New Mexico chiles. Toast until fragrant, turning to prevent burning, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a large heatproof bowl and repeat with the chiles de arbol. 
  2. Cover the chiles with boiling water, submerging as much as possible, and let stand 30 minutes.
Toasted New Mexico Chiles
Toasted  Chiles de Arbol
Soaked Chiles
  1. Remove the chiles from the water and tear off the stem ends. Split the chiles in half lengthwise and gently scrape out the seeds with your fingers. Coarsely chop the flesh. 
  2. Place the chopped chiles in a food processor along with 1/2 cup beef broth. Process until the chiles are very finely chopped into a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Set the chile paste aside.
Seeded Soaked Chiles
Chopped Chiles Ready to Puree 
Dried Chile Paste
  1. Heat the same large pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beef and cook until browned, turning once or twice, about 10 minutes total. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and drain excess liquid from the pot.
Beef Beginning to Brown 
Browned Beef
  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add the onion, fresh chiles, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 3-4 minutes.
Onion, Chiles, and Garlic Beginning to Cook
  1. Whisk the cornmeal with the remaining 2 1/2 cups of beef broth and add to the pot. Return the beef to the pot and add the reserved chile paste, tomato puree, oregano, and cumin and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring well to combine. Reduce the heat to its lowest point and cook the chili gently until the beef is tender and the broth is slightly thickened, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (Leave the lid slightly ajar to help thickening, if necessary.) 
  3. Remove from the heat and let the chili rest 10 minutes before serving.
Chili Beginning to Cook
Cooked Chili
To serve, divide the chili among 6 shallow bowls and garnish each with garlic-butter toast slices and a dollop of sour cream. 

Texas-Style Chili with Dried-Chile Broth


  1. I really like your recipe. We actually cook similar in a way, all the fresh ingredients make it so flavorful. Visiting you from What did you do this Weekend. I would love it if you would join our Thursday Four Seasons Blog Hop Party. Easy Life Meal and Party Planning.

    1. Shawna, thanks much for your message---and for your invitation. I'll be visiting your site this evening!


  2. I am ready for me some chile. This sounds awesome. Thanks for linking to What'd You Do This Weekend.

    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  3. You're welcome, Linda---hope you enjoy the dish. And thank you for the continued opportunity to share a link!