Recipe courtesy The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh (Random House, 2004)
That’s right: the carne comes first in this bowl of red. The recipe originated with Jorge Cortez of San Antonio’s La Margarita, who said the large chunks of meat called for the flip-flop in the name. Chili purists take note—no beans here.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 pound sirloin, cut into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ancho chilies
- Tortilla chips, if desired
Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, and brown the meat well, 5–10 minutes, until any water evaporates.
Add the onion and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, flour, cumin, bay leaves, black pepper and salt. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until flour is browned.
Add the anchos and 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring and adding more water, if needed, until the anchos dissolve completely and meat is tender.
Remove any large pieces of ancho skin. Serve in a bowl with tortilla chips—or as a sauce for enchiladas or tamales. Serves 4.
Scott Ota, manager at Arro in Austin and current holder of the “Best Sommelier in Texas” title, recommends the hearty 2011 Texas GSM from Pedernales Cellars.
“Fruity and savory wines work best with chilies that don’t have tomatoes or beans,” says Ota.
“I love the bold fruit tones of this Rhône blend to balance the weight of the beef, and the secondary flavors and savory tones of the wine further highlight the spices of the chili.”
Beer alternative: Austin Beerworks Black Thunder (courtesy of Matthew Gutierrez, general manager & beer savant at Liberty Tavern in Austin).