The Tiguas, who are descendants of Indians from New Mexico’s Pueblo tribes, run amazing tribal restaurants in Texas’ oldest town, Ysleta (which means “little island’), which is now a suburb of the border city of El Paso. There they offer Indian, Mexican and Texan tastes on a menu that includes bread baked exactly the way it was 300 years ago, sizzling fajitas and this fiery red chile stew.
Tigua Indian Reservation Restaurant Hot Chili
2 ½ lbs. lean boneless chuck, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 lg. onion, chopped
6 tbsp. lard or vegetable shortening, divided
4 tbsp. flour
3/4 c. red chili powder
2 c. beef bouillon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 level tsp. oregano
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks (optional)
Garnishes: sour cream, chopped red or green onion, grated sharp cheddar, chopped coriander
In skillet over medium heat to high heat, brown beef and onions in 3 tbsp. shortening. Remove from heat.
In deep saucepan over low heat, melt remaining lard. Whisk in flour, stirring until well-blended. Gradually add chili and bouillon in small, alternating amounts, creating a smooth, thick sauce. Add remaining seasonings, adjust to taste. Reduce to low heat and simmer 10 min. Add browned beef and onions, cover, simmer 45 min. longer, stirring occasionally. Add water if mixture seems too thick.
After 45 min, if necessary, degrease the top of the chili. Add potatoes, if desired. Simmer 20-35 min. longer until very tender.
Serves with garnishes suggested above. Note: Flavor improves if refrigerated overnight and reheated.