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what cut of meat to use for texas style chili?

  • j

what's the best cut of meat to use when making texas style chili (no beans)

TIA

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  1. chuck in 1 inch cubes.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mod'ern

      I've never made chili before and am planning my first one tonight. I have a food processor and was wondering if it would work just as well to throw the meat in there to chop it up?

      1. re: Ms. Paris

        I have a food processor and was wondering if it would work just as well to throw the meat in there to chop it up? It depends if you want your chili to be a soup or a stew. Process the meat is you want a smoother texture, cut the meat into chunks if you want to eat pieces of meat. If the chili has beans, then I would go ground/processed.

        "Chunky" chili can take a couple of hours to let the meat braise in the sauce. If you want to make and eat chili tonight, then ground/processed is they way I would go.

        I also like ~1" chuck for beef chili.

        1. re: Ms. Paris

          >>I have a food processor and was wondering if it would work just as well to throw the meat in there to chop it up?

          No. No. And No. Absolutely stay away from the food processor. Here's the thing. If you cook it long enough (at least 2 hours or more), the meat chunks will start to fall apart. Parts of the 1 inch cubes will start melding into the stew, thicking the mass, and what's left is delictable, rounded meat chunks perfectly sized chili madness. Ground meat chili is evil. Processor meat chili is...well...just unthinkable.

          1. re: Ms. Paris

            I like brisket, thought that was big down there?

          2. re: mod'ern

            I've used chuck as well as bottom round and rump. All work well and have good flavor, the last two are a little dryer. Personally I cut it into cubes much smaller than 1", but that's a matter of personal preference. I've never tried chopping it in a food processor. Since you'd have to cut it into fairly small cubes to get a reasonably even "grind" and you don't want it too fine anyway, I'm not sure there's much point.

          3. I have always used chuck in 1/2" pieces until I tried boneless short rib meat. It's dramatically better but does need a post-braise de-fatting.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Greg Spence

              Hey, Greg. Have you ever tried grilling short rib meat, on or off the bone? I had some at a riodizio here in Dallas recently, and decided it's a new favorite. The high fat content gives it a crispy outer layer, and the meat has a deep beefy flavor. I am also trying to figure out if this cut is what is sometimes known as a cross-rib steak. Any idea?

              1. re: Kirk

                I have grilled boneless short rib meat over an oak fire with just salt and pepper and been very pleased with the results. When local (Austin, Texas) barbecue whiz John Mueller smokes short ribs, he makes the finest barbecue in all the land. Sorry, I don't know much about other names for the cut.

            2. I believe that you can use sirloin too.