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Recipe for :

Bowl O' Red

Jane ButelThis recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Jane Butel and comes from her latest book Real Women Eat Chile.

Often credited with starting the Tex-Mex mania, Jane Butel published her first cookbooks on New Mexican and American Mexican food in the 1960s. Sixteen cookbooks later, her books and her Cooking School in Albuquerque, which Bon Appetit called among "the best in the US", bring you all there is to know and love about this cuisine.

Jane is an internationally recognized authority on the regional cooking of the American Southwest. The daughter and granddaughter of accomplished home economists, she is a cookbook author, teacher and television personality.

Her interest in Southwestern cooking predates its current widespread popularity by decades. She was the first to write about the cooking style that evolved in the Southwestern border area and is credited with starting the USA's love affair with this cuisine.

Jane operates her own site-based Cooking Schools, which have been recognized far and wide for their quality of instruction. Jane's Cooking School specializes in week long and weekend full participation classes on New Mexican and Southwestern cooking - to find out more click here.

The influence behind this recipe came from my maternal grandfather, who when working with the Santa Fe Railroad learned how to prepare it from the "cookies" or trail cooks. It has won numerous chili cook-offs and is one of the really true original chiles.


2 tablespoons lard, butter, bacon dripping, or rendered beef fat
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 medium size garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup ground hot chile or to taste
1/4 cup ground mild chile
1 tablespoon ground cumin
About 3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt


  • Heat lard in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook until softened. Remove from heat.
  • Add meat, garlic, ground chiles and cumin to pot.
  • Break up any lumps. Stir in the water and salt. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the flavors are well blended. Add more water if necessary.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve with fixin's 'n mixins' of coarsely grated cheeses, pickled jalapenos, chopped onion and sour cream with lime wedges garnished with a "ruffle" of red chile.

Jane Butel

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel's Southwestern Kitchen