Mar 19, 2019

Texas-Style Beef Short Rib Chili, Two Ways

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
This chili con carne builds smoky heat from the roasted and reconstituted guajillo, ancho and arbol chilies -- the base of the deep reddish/ brown sauce (also known as “bowl of red” because of the signature color).

jump toRECIPE

This chili con carne builds smoky heat from the roasted and reconstituted guajillo, ancho and arbol chilies — the base of the deep reddish/ brown sauce (also known as “bowl of red” because of the signature color). Made in a Dutch oven, this recipe aims to develop the tender meat created by braising and then transforming it into a stew. This recipe can be also be made using either a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Both methods are included with instructions below.

Texas-Style Beef Short Rib Chili, Two Ways

How is Texas-style chili different from other chili?

One of the major differences between Texas-style chili and the other chili recipes out there is that the classic preparation does not include any beans. As I started researching the history of the dish and its different iterations, I saw some that were made with beans and some without.

When questioning my friend Sean from @sorryimtexan about the Texan special also known as chili con carne, the first thing he told me was, “just warning you that if there are beans, there will be backlash”. It is thought that beans were eventually added to chili to make it cheaper to produce. In addition it helped to stretch the dish to feed more people (namely farm hands in the early 1900s). According to the Texas Chili Parlor in Austin, TX in the 1800s women sold chili at roadside stands were referred to as “chili queens” and I think that is my new aspirational title.

A brief history of Texas-style chili:

Texans take their chili so seriously that it was named the official state dish of the Lone Star State in 1977 through a resolution passed in the state legislature. Why? Because Texans believe only Texans know how to make real chili! While I take slight offense to this notion, I respect their commitment to the dish. The ghost town of Terlingua, Texas holds the International chili cook-off annually. The only way to enter is with proof of winning a smaller chili contest.

seared short ribs

What goes into the chili?

The goal of Texas chili is to develop a rich and hearty stew. The flavors are built starting with beef and chilies and coax complex flavors out of those few simple ingredients. While tomatoes are another ingredient up for contention, I use a little tomato paste to add to the deep flavors. Masa harina is a dried corn flour used here to thicken the base of the chili. It can be found in the Latin American section of a grocery store, Latin American markets or here on Amazon.

Tips for This Recipe

  • Removing the seeds to the chilies is crucial – the goal is to use the flavor without an overpowering spice (the spice of chilies is in the seeds). Scroll to the bottom for how to make chili in the pressure-cooker/ Instant pot!
  • Pair a bowl of this chili with a side of homemade cornbread and a bottle of Shiner Bock and you are set.
Texas-Style Beef Short Rib Chili, Two Ways recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

How to Make This Recipe in a Dutch Oven

  1. Dry toast the chilies. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, then add the chilies and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until the chilies are fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn.
  2. Make the chili paste. Place the chilies in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water and let sit until soft. Add the chilies in the water to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Sear the short ribs. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Sear the short ribs in batches until browned on all sides
  4. Sauté the aromatics. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat to medium then add the onion and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the paprika, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon, then cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and the homemade chili paste mixture. Return the short ribs to the pot and pour the beer and beef stock over the top.
  5. Cook the beef. Bring the mixture to a boil then turn down heat to low and tightly cover, cooking until the short ribs are tender and easily pulls apart, about 2½ – 3 hours. Stir in the chocolate until combined.
  6. Thicken the broth. Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a small bowl and whisk in the masa harina. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine and thicken the sauce. Use the back of the spoon to separate some of the pieces of the short rib – they should easily fall apart.
  7. Serve. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with desired servings with a side of cornbread.
Texas-Style Beef Short Rib Chili, Two Ways recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings closeup

How to Make This Recipe in an Instant Pot

  1. Make the chili paste. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, then add the chilies and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until the chilies are fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn. Place the chilies in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water and let sit until soft. Add the chilies in the water to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Sear the short ribs. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a 6-quart instant pot to “sauté” setting. When it says “hot” add the olive oil and heat through then working it batches, add the short ribs and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total.
  3. Sauté the aromatics. Remove to a large bowl and set aside. Add the onion to the instant pot and sauté until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about an additional 15 to 20 seconds. Stir in the paprika, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon, followed by the tomato paste and the homemade chili paste mixture. Return the short ribs to the pot and pour the beer and beef stock over the top.
  4. Secure the lid and cook. Close the lid to the instant pot and secure closed and set to pressure cook on high. Pressure cook for 30 minutes then let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure indicator has gone down, open the lid.
  5. Thicken the broth. Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a small bowl and whisk in the masa harina. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine and thicken the sauce. Use the back of the spoon to separate some of the pieces of the short rib – they should easily fall apart. Stir in the Mexican chocolate until melted and combined.
  6. Serve. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with desired servings with a side of cornbread.
This chili con carne, a Texas-style braised short rib chili recipe -  builds smoky heat from the roasted guajillo, ancho and arbol chilies.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these

Texas-Style Beef Short Rib Chili; Two Ways

short rib beef chili topped with cheese, sour cream and green onion and cilantro sprigs in a grey bowl with a side of cornrbead in a skillet
Print Pin
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the chili paste:

  • 2 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 5 dried arbol chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • For the Texas-style short rib chili:
  • 3 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 2” pieces
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces stout beer
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 ounce unsweetened Mexican dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup masa harina

For serving:

  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Cornbread get the recipe here 

Instructions:

For the chili paste:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, then add the chilies and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until the chilies are fragrant, about 2 minutes on each side. Be careful not to let them burn.
  • Place the chilies in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water and let sit until soft, about 20 minutes. Add the chilies in the water to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

For the Texas-style short rib chili:

  • Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Sear the short ribs in batches until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  • Turn the heat to medium then add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about an additional 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Stir in the paprika, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon, then cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and the homemade chili paste mixture. Return the short ribs to the pot and pour the beer and beef stock over the top.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil then turn down heat to low and tightly cover, cooking until the short ribs are tender and easily pulls apart, about 2½ – 3 hours. Stir in the chocolate until combined.
  • Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a small bowl and whisk in the masa harina. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine and thicken the sauce. Use the back of the spoon to separate some of the pieces of the short rib – they should easily fall apart.

For serving:

  • Ladle the chili into bowls and top with desired servings with a side of cornbread.

Notes:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR AN INSTANT POT/ PRESSURE COOKER:
For the Texas-style short rib chili:
Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a 6-quart instant pot to “sauté” setting. When it says “hot” add the olive oil and heat through then working it batches, add the short ribs and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total.
Remove to a large bowl and set aside. Add the onion to the instant pot and sauté until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about an additional 15 to 20 seconds. Stir in the paprika, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon, followed by the tomato paste and the homemade chili paste mixture. Return the short ribs to the pot and pour the beer and beef stock over the top.
Close the lid to the instant pot and secure closed and set to pressure cook on high. Pressure cook for 30 minutes then let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure indicator has gone down, open the lid.
Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a small bowl and whisk in the masa harina. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine and thicken the sauce. Use the back of the spoon to separate some of the pieces of the short rib – they should easily fall apart. Stir in the Mexican chocolate until melted and combined.
For serving:
Ladle the chili into bowls and top with desired servings with a side of cornbread.

DID YOU MAKE THIS?

TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON MY STORIES! @cookingwithcocktailrings

Rate + Review

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




  1. HI! Your instructions say to heat the oven to 300F, but I don’t see where in the process we are to put the Chili in the oven. Did I miss it somewhere?

    • You didn’t miss anything – that’s on me! After several tests I changed the recipe to be cooked on the stove but that part slipped through edits. Thanks for calling it to my attention! All fixed!

  2. I made this tonight in the instant pot and it seems a little to runny – any suggestions? Looking at the recipe again I may see where I made a mistake. When you mentioned to “ Add the chilies in the water to a blender and blend until smooth…” I took that to mean blend both the chilis and the water they were soaking in. Is that correct? If not, how can I adjust the chili since I included the extra water?

    • Did you add the masa harina to thicken it in the end? You were right you blend the chilies as well as the water but the masa harina added in the end should thicken it! If you don’t have masa I’d recommend using a slurry of equal parts cornstarch and cold water whisked together then stir into the chili and bring back to a boil to thicken it. Hope this helps!

  3. Definitely an authentic recipe.. the only possible ingredients i’ve heard were also used in addition to the ones listed are coffee and bacon. I might use this as a base and incorporate some cooking techniques from other cultures to elevate it further. Szechuan fried chili oil to bring smokiness and heat, a tuscan sofrito with the fresh herbs to bring freshness and bite, dry brining the meat to season it through, tenderize it, and concentrate flavors, and a bit of homemade powdered dashi to ramp up the underlying umami content would be the first places i’d start to look. Then to serve it i might consider adding in small pearls of oaxaca to sit in the bowl of hot chili until melted that would bring a stringy fun factor to eating it… or even broiled over top until brown and bubbly. So many ideas. Too many ideas lol