Sometimes you just don’t mess with a classic. This Texas-style recipe takes chili back to its true Western roots. If you like, you can add beans to stretch the dish—but try it first as it’s meant to be..
Serves 16 (serving size: 3/4 cup chili and 1/2 cup rice)
1. Add first three chili powders (through ancho chili powder) to a medium skillet. Toast over medium heat until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove powders from pan, and reserve.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 6-quart pot. Add beef to pan, and cook, in batches, until browned on each side. Remove and reserve. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion; cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and serrano chiles, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add breakfast sausage, breaking up with a spoon, and cook until brown, about 3 minutes.
3. Return beef to pan, and stir in toasted spices. Cover with 6 to 8 cups warm water. Allow chili to come to a gentle simmer; cover, and simmer slowly 1 1/2 hours.
4. In a small skillet, toast cumin, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder over medium-low heat until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add spices to pan; stir in tomato sauce, beer, and salt.
5. Return chili to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. Add all ingredients for finishing spice mixture to a small skillet. Toast over medium-low heat until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add to chili, and cook 30 minutes. Serve warm, over rice, garnished as desired.