Food & Drink

G&G’s Classic Texas-Style Chili

No beans, just beef or venison and plenty of spice. Here’s how to make it on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot

Photo: Phillip Rhodes

We side with Texas when it comes to chili. No beans, thanks. Just meat, and lots of it. Also nice? Plenty of kick, which, here, comes from smoked chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, an ingredient you can find in most grocery stores. Whether you prepare this chili on the stovetop in a traditional Dutch oven or on the countertop in an Instant Pot , take one tip: Be sure to thoroughly pat the meat dry before browning to ensure good caramelization, which sears its flavor into the entire meal.

Phillip Rhodes


    • 2½ pounds beef chuck roast or venison loin with silverskin removed, cut into cubes

    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

    • 3 tbsp. canola oil

    • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

    • 1 large red onion, diced

    • 4 garlic cloves, minced

    • 1 tbsp. chili powder

    • 1½ tsp. ground cumin

    • 1 tsp. ground allspice

    • 1 cinnamon stick

    • 12 oz. dark beer, such as Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale

    • 2 (12-ounce) cans Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained

    • 2 cups beef stock

    • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

    • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

    • 2 tsp. dried oregano

    • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    • Garnishes: Tortilla chips, sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, grated sharp cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, jalapeños, lime wedges


  1. Toss the beef or venison in a bowl with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Put the flour in a wide shallow bowl and add half of the meat, tossing to coat.

  2. Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp. of the oil and 1 tbsp. of the butter. Put the floured meat in the pot and cook for 2 minutes per side to develop a rich brown crust. (Be careful not to overcrowd the pot or you will steam the meat; work in batches if necessary.) With a slotted spoon, remove the meat to a plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining meat.

  3. If using an instant pot, turn to sauté mode with high heat and brown the meat in the pot. A 6-qt. Instant Pot has a smaller cooking surface than many large Dutch ovens, so this may require more batches.

  4. Reduce the heat on the stovetop to medium and add the remaining oil and butter. For an Instant Pot, lower sauté to medium or normal. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon stick. Sauté for 1 minute.

  5. Add the beer and deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.

  6. Return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes, stock, brown sugar, chipotle, and oregano. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 1 1⁄2 hours.

  7. For an Instant Pot, secure the lid and cook under high pressure for 30 minutes. When complete, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release until you can safely open the lid.

  8. Stir in the cilantro.

  9. To serve, arrange garnishes on the table. Ladle chili into serving bowls and let each person top the chili to their liking.

Recipe adapted from The Southerner’s Cookbook