Christmas Chili & Cornbread

By Case D Fischer

Good news – today’s recipe is about to make your holiday meal prep a whole lot easier, this is my Christmas gift to you – Christmas Chili and Cornbread.

In Fredericksburg, San Antonio and many other towns in Central and South Texas, a common Christmas Eve tradition is to serve Chili, Tamales and Cornbread. In Hispanic culture, Christmas is tamale making time, and I think the reason that we latched onto this tradition here in Fredericksburg is, not only are tamales delicious, but because of the Chili. It’s deer season of course, and a lot of us have venison in the freezer – Chili is one of the great ways to use deer meat.

Now typically chili can take anywhere from 45 minutes to all day depending on the type of meat you use or your recipe, and allday chili cooking can be fun and very rewarding. My recipe however, only takes 30 minutes. The secret is our new Mom’s Texas Chili Starter. All you have to do is brown your venison, beef, or both if you like, and add Mom’s Texas Chili Starter and simmer for 30 minutes. We have made sure to include all of the important ingredients in the development of this product – chili powder, chipotle peppers, tomato paste, salt and pepper, but one of its main ingredients is beer. And to make sure we keep it “Texas”, we use Lone Star.

You can add any other flavors you like while you are simmering your chili too – it won’t hurt our feelings one bit. We just aim to make your life a little easier while still keeping it tasting great. I have added a few things to the recipe below to give you some ideas on how you can change it up, but it’s amazing straight out of the jar with no additions except your meat. I have also included a good recipe for corn bread. As for the tamales, you are on your own! Merry Christmas!

Ingredients :

For Chili

1lb venison chili meat, ground beef or pork
24 oz. jar Mom’s Texas Chili Starter
16oz can diced tomatoes, drained
16 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp ground/flaked thyme
1⁄2 tsp onion powder
1⁄2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1⁄2 tsp salt & pepper
Sour-cream, green onions, sharp cheddar cheese (for topping)

For cornbread

1 cup AP flour, sifted
1 cup cornmeal
1⁄3 cup white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted and cooled  

2 eggs, room temp

Directions : For Chili

  1. In a medium-to large pot heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil (or any neutral oil) over medium heat. Toss in onions and mix for 2-3 minutes. Add your choice of meat, breaking apart as you cook it for 6-8 minutes but leave the chunks a bit large and allow the meat to sear well.
  2. Add in salt, pepper, thyme, chili powder, and cayenne, mixing well. Add in tomato paste and mix well. If you need to de-glaze the bottom of the pan, pour in 1-2 tbsp of water/beef broth.
  3. After tomato paste has been mixed thoroughly, add in Mom’s Chili Starter and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  4. Top with green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese–or a combination of all three. Serve with cornbread on the side.

For Cornbread

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a loaf pan. Melt butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, cooled butter, and eggs.
  4. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together until combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 23-25 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the loaf, if the toothpick comes out clean the cornbread is done. If the toothpick still has batter on it, leave the pan in the oven for 3-5 additional minutes.

Let cornbread cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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