Texas-Style Short Rib Chili with Guacamole & Chips


Texas-Style Short Rib Chili   |   Homemade Guacamole & Tortilla Chips

Take a look outside my window…

The rain started over night and has not let up…I love being in the kitchen on days like this.

The dogs wander into the kitchen to join me as I pour myself a large mug of freshly brewed coffee.  I turn on our large gas oven and listen to its soft hum as I quietly enjoy my coffee for a minute before starting the chili.  Tuffy, our small Hunt Terrier, is curled up in front of the oven as if it were a fireplace.  Duke, our Black Lab, chooses his normal spot in front of our refrigerator.

This chili recipe has evolved over time, as most recipes do.  I have always made it without beans {Michael HATES beans} but the spices, peppers, coffee, tomatoes, cut of meat, beer…these I have picked up from various recipes & people over the years.  Six of those years we lived in Texas where everyone has an opinion about chili…I learned a lot.

  Texas-Style Short Rib Chili with Beer

  • 1 ounce package dried Ancho chiles (about 4)
  • 2-3 cups boiling water
  • 2 large Pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded & diced
  • 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut up into one inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 slices thick-cut, applewood-smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled & chopped
  • 1 large red onion, peeled & diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can {28 ounces} diced canned tomatoes with their juices {I prefer the San Marzano brand}
  • 1 small {6 ounce} can tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef stock {preferably Homemade Beef Stock}, divided
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 twelve-ounce bottle of beer {I recommend Lagunitas Pale Ale “New Dog Town”}
  • Sauce from canned chipotle peppers in adobo {optional}


Start by stemming and seeding the dried ancho chiles…the dried chiles will break into pieces and the seeds will fall out.

Place the dried chile pieces into a heatproof bowl and cover with the boiling water.  Let steep for about 15 minutes.

While the dried chiles steep, cook the bacon {over medium-high heat} in a large Dutch oven…this one is my favorite pot in our kitchen…

With a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces to a plate lined with a paper towel & set aside.    Season the short ribs with salt & pepper.

In batches, so as not to overcrowd the pieces of meat, add short rib pieces to the pot with bacon drippings and brown {over medium-high heat}.  Sprinkle with one tablespoon of flour and brown meat on all sides…transfer browned pieces of meat to a platter.  Repeat with remaining short rib pieces, adding olive oil to the pot as necessary and sprinkling each batch with one tablespoon of flour.

After all the meat has been browned, set pot {with drippings} aside.  In a separate, large saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add chopped yellow onion & garlic, cooking until the onion just begins to soften.  Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 cups of the beef stock and the brewed coffee.  Bring this tomato mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Drain the soaking ancho chiles {reserving the soaking liquid should the chili need to be thinned at any point}.  Transfer cooled tomato mixture and drained ancho chiles to a blender & with hand securely over the top, blend until smooth. Set aside.

In the Dutch oven, with the pan drippings from the meat, add the diced red onion & green Pasilla chiles

and cook {over medium-high heat} 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the brown sugar, cumin & oregano, stirring constantly.  Add reserved tomato mixture from the blender, together with the beer and remaining cup of beef stock, stirring to combine.  Return short ribs and bacon to this pot, stir and bring to a simmer

At this point, you can taste the chili and, if more heat is desired, add the adobo sauce {1 teaspoon at a time…be careful, a teaspoon delivers quite a bit of heat} to suit your tastes.  Cover & braise in the oven for 2 ½ hours.

Remove pot from oven.  Carefully tilt pan to one side and, with a gravy ladle, skim off any fat from the surface.  Stir & let chili set for 15 minutes before serving.  In my opinion, the chili should be completely cooled at this point & then tightly covered and refrigerated over night.  Lift off any additional fat & then gently reheat to a simmer the following day.  Letting the flavors of the chili develop overnight really makes a difference in the end result.



  • 6 ripe Haas avocados…halved, pitted and tender flesh scooped into a bowl
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded & diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • coarse sea salt to taste
  • 1 serrano chile…stemmed, seeded & minced {optional}
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo sauce {optional}

With a fork, roughly mash the avocado flesh.  Add next five ingredients and gently mix together.

I wanted a “cooler” guacamole tonight since we were serving with a spicy chili (I added the adobo sauce to our chili) so I omitted the last two ingredients listed above.  I usually add the chile or adobo sauce {depending on how much heat I am looking for…the adobo sauce adds quite a bit} for the guacamole I bring to horse shows…which is usually devoured with tortilla chips & a cold beer at the end of the day!

Have a great weekend & Happy Dining!!!


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