Don’t get left out in the cold

When temperatures in Texas start to dip below 50 degrees F, most of the state’s native and longtime residents think about a warm bowl of chili. The grocery store shelves empty quickly of the mixes and jarred bases, but our Southwest Chili con Carne delivers a freshness and depth of flavor that the others don’t. Fresh spices will impart the best flavor, so pick up new ones if you can’t recall the last time you purchased those in question.

Chili always tastes better the next day and pairs well with eggs for breakfast! Want to make a smaller batch? Reduce all the ingredients by half.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 – 10


  • 2 pounds Beef (ground beef, chili meat or cubed chuck)
  • 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Poblano Chile Pepper, diced
  • 3 – 4 Mini Sweet Peppers, sliced (optional)
  •  4 to 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 (28  oz.) can Tomatoes, whole or crushed
  • 2 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 1 tablespoon Beef Bouillon Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chicken Bouillon Paste
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons Fish Sauce

Spice mix

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons ground Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried Oregano


  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground Chipotle OR Cayenne Pepper, depending on your desired heat level
  • 1 teaspoon Agave Nectar OR 1- 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh Nopalitos, diced (cactus paddles)
  • ¼ cup Masa + 1/4 cup Water (for thickening the sauce, omit if using nopalitos)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Red Kidney or Black Beans

Toppings and accompaniments

  • Sour Cream, Mexican Crema, Cotija cheese or Goat cheese (choose 1)
  • Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • Green Onions
  • Corn Bread, Corn Chips or cooked Rice


  1. In a Dutch oven (large pot) over medium heat, brown beef and drain off excess fat. While meat is cooking, add oil, diced onion and peppers to a skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook until onions are softened and almost translucent, add minced garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, then transfer to the pot with the beef.
  2. When meat is browned, stir in all spices adding ground chipotle or cayenne pepper to taste. (If you’re not sure what heat level is appropriate for you, start with the lowest amount. After about 30 minutes of cooking the spices will begin to meld and you can add more at that time, if desired.) After stirring in the spice mix, add tomatoes, bone broth, bouillon paste, tomato paste and fish sauce. (It’s easier to dissolve the bouillon pastes in the warmed broth before adding to the pot. Pour the broth into a microwave safe measuring cup and heat until warm. Two cycles of the beverage setting on our microwave yields about the right heat level. Stir in the pastes to dissolve.) Stir all to combine.
  3. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After this initial cooking period, the flavors will have started to meld. Taste, adjust seasoning, add agave or brown sugar if needed. Add beans and/or nopalitos, if desired. For a thicker chili, mix water and masa together to make a paste. Add to chili, mix well and continue to simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Serve with choice of toppings or accompaniments.

Wine Pairing Guide

Want to know more about how to select the best bottle for your budget? You can find a great bottle at any price range if you know how to determine quality vs. price. Learn more in our primer Selecting the Best Wine for Your Budget.

Texas: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer
West Coast: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc
Argentina: Torrontes
Germany: Riesling, Gewürztraminer
France: Vouvray (Chenin Blanc) or Blanc Moelleux, Alsace Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc
Italy: Gargenega, Moscato

In general, pricing is a guideline as to the style of wine making in red wines. Less expensive reds are made to enjoy as soon as you uncork. Pour and enjoy! More expensive reds typically need 20 to 40 minutes to decant (breathe) to enjoy to their fullest.

Texas: Ruby Cab, Dolcetto
West Coast: Pinot Noir, Barbera, Zinfandel
France: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Côtes du Ventoux, Gamay, Cinsault, Counoise
Italy: Bardolino, Primitivo, Chianti Classico, Nebbiolo
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan
Texas: Dolcetto, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Sangiovese
West Coast: Barbera, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, GSM blends
Argentina: Merlot, Tempranillo, Bonarda
Australia: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Chile: Merlot, Carménère
France: Beaujolais crus, Village Burgundy, Côte du Rhône Village, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend, Petite Bordeaux
Italy: Negroamaro, Barbera, Valpolicella, Chianti Riserva, Sangiovese
South Africa: Shiraz, Pinotage
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache
Texas: Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon
West Coast: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Meritage (Bordeaux-style blend), Petite Syrah/Shiraz, Mourvedre
Argentina: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon
France: better Bordeaux (Left Bank = bolder-style Cabernet, Right Bank = softer style Merlot), Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Mourvèdre, Vacqueyras, Gigondas
Italy: Amarone, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Sagrantino, Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo, Salice Salentino, Super Tuscan
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Monastrell (bolder-style red regions: Priorat, Montsant, Toro, Ribera de Duero)