Make Texas Red Chili and Eggs for Your Super Bowl Brunch
Making chili is a meditative act, particularly in the short, cold days of winter. It fills your house with the aroma of spices and browned beef, and it promises a full, warm belly at the end of a long day of work. There are all kinds of chili: vegetable, with tomatoes, without tomato, using ground beef, or heck, ground turkey. But my favorite special occasion, all-day chili is one that I make every year for the Super Bowl, a classic bowl of red. You may know the dish by other names—Texas chili, Texas-style chili, chili con carne, or Texas red—but the rules are more or less the same. No tomatoes, no onions, no beans. Just beef and spices braised long and slow until they’re coaxed into a spicy, thick bowl of chili. I’m not from Texas and have never lived there, so this chili doesn’t qualify in the least as authentically Texan. Think of it as a loving cover band tribute to authentic Texas chili. The recipe began with one from Frank X. Tolbert, a Texan journalist and chili historian who, by all accounts, was something like a wizard when it came to his bowls of red. Over many Super Bowls spent making chili, I tweaked the original bowl of red recipe into something that’s less authentic, but extremely delicious. The best part of this chili is, like many meat braises, it’s even better the day after you make it. In fact, it’s exceptionally good as a breakfast, on, say, the cold grim Monday after the Super Bowl. Top it with a runny egg or two, add some cornbread, and it’s a brunch feast.