Texas Jailhouse Chili
  • Servings: 16
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 28 oz. cans red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 28 oz. cans tomato puree
  • 2 4 oz. cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Stir-ins:
  • corn chips
  • grated cheddar jack cheese
  • crushed red hot pepper
  • chopped green onion
  • chopped yellow onion
  • Tabasco pepper sauce
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet; add the chopped onion and ground beef. Sauté over medium heat, stirring to break up the bits, until the meat is cooked. Drain off any fat and transfer to a slow cooker.Add the remaining ingredients, except stir-ins. Cook on low 4-8 hours or high 2-4 hours.
  2. Serve with the crushed corn chips, grated cheese, crushed red pepper, chopped green and yellow onion, and Tabasco.
Kids especially like this version because they can stir in their choice of corn chips, cheese, and other goodies. The man was a real desperado named Jose Xavier Gonzales, who came up with the jail house chili. "Hanging Judge Roy Bean" sentenced him to hang for all his bad works, only weeks after he was jailed. This chili got its name because while in jail that he made such good chili, inmates wrote after leaving to get the recipe! Try some and you'll see why the frontier cowboys said "It's chili worth going to jail for."