Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

The North End Barbecue & Moonshine restaurant in Indianapolis is definitely one of my favorite restaurants. They have a fantastic menu, but for me, the best dish by far is the Texas red chili. It’s simple, spicy, and oh so packed with flavor. Smoked brisket, homemade bacon and a red sauce that I could just slurp up with a (big) straw. I can’t always make it to North End BBQ, so I decided to make my own (slightly different) version of their Texas chili. I was absolutely pleased with it. Nice and spicy, with a bit of smokiness.
smoked-brisket-texas-chiliNow, you could make this smoked brisket Texas chili with just cubed chuck that has been lightly browned in the Dutch oven first. Nothing wrong with that, not one bit, but if you have smoked brisket, it really gives the chili a completely different flavor than just regular ole chili.

I roasted a few jalapenos on the grill and chopped them to use as garnish. They added even more bite and flavor to what was already a great bowl of chili.

My green chile mac and cheese chili stew is also out-of-this-world crazy good. Give it a try too!

Smoked Brisket Texas Chili

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 8 dried chiles I used guajillo, but just about any chile will work
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth plus more if needed
  • 2 cups water plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina if you don't have any masa, take a handful of plain tortilla chips and grind them in a food processor or by hand using a mortar and pestle
  • 2 pounds smoked brisket cubed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Garnishes sour cream, roasted jalapenos, grilled lime edges, etc


  • Toast the chiles in a hot skillet over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remove to a large bowl and cover in hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, turning once.
  • Remove chiles (do not discard the water). Cut off the stems and remove the seeds.
  • Chop lightly and transfer to a food processor.
  • Add the cumin, pepper and a few pinches of salt, along with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Process until smooth. If needed add a bit more of the water.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the broth and water. Bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk in the masa harina and add the processed chile paste.
  • Add the brisket and stir. Cover.
  • Let simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender, adding more broth if necessary.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and add more salt to taste. Simmer another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with the desired garnishes.

Pizza and Pasta Sauce

This is my go-to red sauce. I use it on everything from pizza, to pasta, to meatballs. I always make a double batch and freeze some for later.

Depending on what you use this sauce for, you might want to puree it slightly in a blender or using a blender stick. We prefer our sauce a little thicker and chunky, even if we use it on pizzas.

5 from 1 vote

Pasta Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Mike


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2-3 shallots chopped
  • 3 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoon fresh marjoram chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)


  • Heat oil over high heat. Add garlic, shallots, thyme and marjoram and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add wine and reduce by 1/2, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the two cans of tomatoes. Simmer, stirring often, for 7 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 -3/4ths of the can of tomato paste, sugar, and hot pepper flakes. Simmer an additional 7 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and add the basil, cook another 1 minute.