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Red River Chili

David Cathey Modified: May 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm •  Published: October 22, 2009
Red River Chili, serve with beans and rice ON THE SIDE!
Red River Chili, serve with beans and rice ON THE SIDE!

Chili was is one of my first loves. I love making it almost as much as eating it. This is recipe can be condensed into a single dump, but I think this method allows the spices to dissolve more efficiently. You won’t be disappointed.

I like mine on the hot side, so adjust the chile to suit your palate.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds sirloin cut in ¼-inch cubes
  • 16 oz. chick, beef or veggie broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can Mexican tomato sauce

Batch one:

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pasilla powder
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. light chili powder

Batch two:

  • 4 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chimayo pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Batch three:

  • 1 teaspoon chimayo pepper (or omit if you think you’re reaching your heat-intake limit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  • In a cast iron pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the beef and cook until browned.
  • Season with salt and drain off the excess grease. Add the tomato sauce and broth and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add all of the ingredients from Batch one, stir and simmer for 35 more minutes.
  • Add Batch two to the pot and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add Batch three and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Let cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Notes: For an excellent vegetarian version, substitute the beef with 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, chopped into ¼-inch cubes and 1-1/2 cups toasted, coarsely crushed pecans. Braise the mushroom in 2-1/2 tablespoons of butter before adding the first batch of ingredients.

Source: Dave Cathey

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