When I think of Texas, I think of two things. Beef and football. The best recipe to throw down a Texas Aggie Tailgate Party? A big spicy pot of 12th Man Texas Chili! Big chunks of prime beef and bold chipotle peppers and spices, slow simmered and then served with corn chips and cheese. Awesome. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the flavor of this chili. But just one little thing...we may have a controversy on our hands....you see, there's beans...
SEC Tailgate Special : Texas A&M University
Football season is our FAVORITE time of year. We love the weather, the crowds, the crazy football action, and of course, the food! This year, we created a tailgate recipe for every team in the South Eastern Conference.
Our goal: to capture the spirit of each school’s team and make a fun and delicious recipe using local flavor and flair. So we put our football differences aside and researched every school.
If you have ever been to an SEC Tailgate, you know that food is the only thing that brings opposing fans together. (Besides the fact that we all want to beat Bama.)
If you don’t follow college football or aren’t a fan of the SEC…that’s totally ok. The SEC Tailgate recipes are still awesome for your next party. Or a Tuesday. (We won’t judge.)
12th Man Texas Chili | Texas Aggie Tailgate
Don't let any other team fool ya...Texas A&M University is the true Home of the 12th Man. Their fans are loyal, their pride is strong. Nothing less than true Texas flavor will do for a Texas Aggie Tailgate.
The star of the show? Beef.
And lots of it. We used a nicely marbled roast, cut into bite sized cubes. You can use sirloin, stew meat, whatever you prefer.
We used almost 5 cups. Yep. That's a lot of meat.
How are we doing so far, Texas?
Before we get started assembling our Texas Aggie Tailgate, we have to brown the meat. You just want to sear it, getting a nice brown on all sides. We started with a little bacon, and cooked our meat in the reserved bacon drippings.
Work in small batches. If you crowd the pan, you won't get "brown"...you'll get gray. Not what we are going for here.
See? Brown. Searing the meat accomplishes three things: beautiful color, perfect flavor, and juicy beef. (Someone print that up on a t-shirt.)
(The plate below would also make a perfectly acceptable Texas Aggie Tailgate appetizer.)
Time to assemble the bold and spicy 12th Man Texas Chili.
Bell peppers, onion and chipotle are cooked until tender, then the meat is added back in. A few tomatoes and chili spices kick it up Texas style. (See the full recipe at the end of this post for what we used...a little of this, a lot of that.)
Oh, and pour a beer in there.
What's the rest of the SEC Eating?
Ok, this is where the Chili Controversy begins. Some of the Texas Chili purists out there are saying "woah, woah, woah, Tennessee girl....stop right there." Why?
Beans. True Texas Chili has no beans. So this step is TOTALLY OPTIONAL, but in true 12th Man Spirit, your Texas Beef needs some supporting team members to make this pot of magic happen.
You can transfer this to a slow cooker for several hours, or cook on the stove top on simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
This is the result. A bowl full of red, thick, meaty chili, each bite better than the next.
Our 12th Man Texas Chili is a little spicy, so keep this in mind when kids are giving it a try.
So what do you think, Aggie Nation? Is this Texas Aggie Tailgate worthy?
If you are looking for something a little different for your tailgate, try our White Chicken Chili. It is a crowd pleaser!
12th Man Texas Chili | Texas Aggie Tailgate
- 5 cups beef we used a rump roast, trimmed and cubed
- 4 strips bacon
- Reserved bacon drippings
- 1 bell pepper seeded and diced
- ½ onion diced
- ¼ cup canned chipotles in liquid, cut into small pieces
- ½ TB minced garlic
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 12 oz can light beer
- 1 10 oz can original Rotel tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 TB brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp Chupacabra Seasoning Blend or any all purpose blend
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 TB butter
- 1 16 oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed**optional
- 1 16 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed**optional
- Cut bacon into small pieces. Cook over medium high heat in a large pot. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving the bacon drippings in the pot.
- Increase heat slightly, and in small batches, sear the beef pieces until brown on all sides in the bacon grease. Set aside, continuing to cook in small batches. If you overcrowd the pan the beef will not brown. Add butter if needed.
- Reduce heat to medium. In the same pot, cook the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers, stirring to combine well. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Return the browned meat to the pot. Add the cooked bacon, crushed tomatoes, Rotel, water, beer, sugar, and all spices. Combine well.
- If you are using beans, add them now.
- Increase the temperature to bring the chili to a low boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 3 to 4 hours. Or, transfer the chili to a slow cooker, and cook over low heat until the beef is tender. The chili will be thicker if cooked on the stove.
- Serve with your favorite fixings: cornbread, corn chips, cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, salsa, etc.