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Uncle Bill’s Texas Panhandle Chili

Uncle Bill’s Texas Panhandle Chili


  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 4 pounds coarse ground chuck
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 10oz. can Original Ro-Tel™ Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 1 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds
  • ½ cup ground chile pepper
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried garlic flakes (or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (or ½ small onion, finely chopped)
  • ½ tablespoon crushed oregano
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (masa de maiz)
  • 1 cup water


1. Fry a few strips of bacon and reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat.
2. In a cast iron skillet, lightly brown 4 pounds coarse ground chuck, one pound at a time.
3. Transfer browned meat to a large pot.
4. Add 2 tablespoons bacon fat.
5. Add 2 cups water.
6. Add Ro-Tel™.
7. Add cumin, ground chile pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, and oregano.
8. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
9. Stir masa harina into 1 cup water and add mixture to chili.
10. Simmer for 1 more hour.
11. Refrigerate overnight.
12. Reheat over low heat, and add small amounts of boiling water if chili is too thick. (A good bowl of chili should be thick enough to keep a spoon standing up straight.)
13. Serve in medium bowls with saltine crackers.

Bill Bryant

New Member
It doesn't have to be kosher salt. The taste difference, given the small portion of salt, is negligible.

I always use kosher salt for special dishes because in some recipes the iodized flavor of standard American table salt is easily noticed. I've never noticed it in chili.
Last edited by a moderator:

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
St. Mary's
OK I understand. We would usually use seasalt for cooking for that very same reason so. We'll let you know how it goes.


Vientiane, Laos
I am completely inept at cooking, but am looking for the perfect chili recipe to impress my wife!

A couple of questions about replacements, since i live in Asia not in the US.
How would i replace Ro-Tel, we have lots of tomatoes and lots of chilies here?
What is Masa de maiz - is it cornflour?

Thanks for the great recipe, looking forward to trying it out.

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