Texas Chili and Cornbread

November 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

Was anyone else secretly waiting for Thanksgiving shenanigans to be over so you could make Texas Chili and cornbread like on Top Chef last week? Don’t get me wrong, I loved the turkey and gravy, but ever since I saw the episode last Wednesday I have been excited to make chili.

The real deal Texas chili apparently does not have beans – I just learned this last week from watching the show. I have been to Texas twice (Austin and Houston – both brief trips) and I have to admit that I didn’t have any chili. On my last trip there this past Summer, I had some amazing BBQ at The Salt Lick in Austin, but other than that I have not had any authentic Texan food. Oh…and I ate at Diner 24 in Austin, which is Top Chef contestant Chef Drew’s restaurant – chicken and waffles were so good! I’m not sure if this recipe is exactly how Texans would make their chili, but I thought it was a pretty good first try – for a California girl!


For the Chili

  • 3 pound beef brisket, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 (4 ounce) can fire roasted diced green chilies
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes

For the Cornbread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

For the Chili Toppings

  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Chives


  1. Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Sear the meat in batches and transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the chili powder, cumin, and coriander and sauté for 1 minute. Add in the red wine and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes until wine has reduced. Add in the chilies, tomatoes, oregano, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours. Uncover and cook for 1 hour. Add in the butternut squash and cook until squash and meat are tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Fold in the cheddar cheese. Do not over mix! Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch baking pan and bake for 30 -35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Serves 6


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§ 3 Responses to Texas Chili and Cornbread

  • Heather HomeMaker says:

    That episode of top chef was so good!!! i like it when they have to stay up late and they all get really wacky :) (and i also had no idea that texas chili isn’t supposed to be “beaned” ….who knew??)
    looks great! it’s cold up here, so we might have to make this soon!

  • Priscilla says:

    I never would have thought of putting butternut squash into chili. What a great way to get vegetables other than celery, carrots and potatoes into a main dish. Definitely something to try.

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