Texas Style Chili (That means NO beans!)

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 1.17.21 AMThank goodness, a chili that doesn’t naturally contain beans! At least, that’s what I’m told.  I’ve only been to Texas for one week; and, while it was great fun, I didn’t learn  about chili.  I was actually down there volunteering at a dog shelter in Dalhart, but most of what I remember was the mud.  There were feet of mud! So much that you needed to wear rain boots just to step out of the van!! 

But that’s all beyond the point. One of my family’s favorite dishes is a beer-can chili.  Now, you can see the problem when one member of your family has Celiac Disease.  So we went an alternative route… Woodchuck Hard Cider.

IMG_7024Before this past week, I had never tried Woodchuck Hard Cider.  My first impression was that it magically managed to have an aftertaste like beer, and that might not be one of it’s better qualities.  Overall, it was pretty good though!  Woodchuck’s special quality is that it “has always, and only, been made from apples (not wheat, barley or rye) none of [their] cider varieties have ever contained gluten.”  They even maintain a gluten free facility AND  test all their ciders at an independent lab.  Now, that’s something to celebrate.  

But we don’t want to drink the cider, we simply want it for the chili!  (At least for tonight, I make no other promises). Woodchuck’s hard cider simply replaces the beer in my chili recipe, making the chili just a little bit sweeter according to my non-Celiac family members. (Although, they still need to participate in a blind taste-test for their opinion to be completely un-biased.)  

Either way, Texas Style Chili  is a crowd pleaser.  It’s deep flavors, spice blend, and heartiness will certainly warm your heart as it did mine! 

P.S: If you missed reading about my phobia of beans, be sure to check it out! I bet it’ll put a smile on your face : )

Texas Style Chili

Allergens: Celiac friendly and free of the Top 8 allergens.


That's 4 lbs. of beef! This recipe makes A LOT of chili : )
That’s 4 lbs. of beef! This recipe makes A LOT of chili : )
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped (make sure it’s GF)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 9 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 lbs. lean stew meat, ½ in. cubes
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/6 cup of regular chili powder
  • 1/6 cup of Hot Mexican chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 32 oz. beef broth (make sure it’s GF)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 28 oz. Contadina crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. Woodchuck Hard Cider
  • 2 tbsp. cornmeal (make sure it’s GF)
  • 4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced Allergy Alert: Many companies put wheat in adobo sauce, so be careful when picking a brand!


  1. IMG_7029Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy, stirring occasionally.  Drain off bacon and 2/3 of the grease.  Brown 2 pounds of meat in remaining bacon grease; set aside in large bowl.  Add ½ of remaining grease to pan.  Brown remaining meat; add to bowl.
  2. Add remaining grease and bacon to the pan.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Add garlic; cook for 1 minute.  Season the onions with oregano, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and allspice.
  3. IMG_7030Cook and stir for about 30 seconds to toast the spices.
  4. Stir in the beef, beef broth, brown sugar, crushed tomatoes, apple cider, chipotle peppers, and cornmeal.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until the beef is tender – 2 ½ – 3 hours.
  5. Garnish with toppings that fit your allergy needs.  These could include tortilla chips, shredded cheese, or sour cream.

Tips & Tricks

  • This is a chili that tastes even better the next day. After the cider blends in, the chili has a richer taste.  My mom claims she would even enter it in a chili contest 🙂
  • Feel free to try out different ciders as well. We do all the time!

9 thoughts on “Texas Style Chili (That means NO beans!)

    1. Awh no, I don’t drink that often, but I’ll try it next! I’ll try it in the chili the next time too, and see how it works. Thanks for the suggestion!

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