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  • 4 dried mild- to medium-heat chilies, such as anchos, pasillas, cascabel or New Mexican, seeded and stemmed
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 slices meaty bacon or 1/4 pound slab, finely diced
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo purée or Gebhardt’s dry chili powder blend
  • 2 tablespoons (a couple scant palmfuls) cumin
  • 1 tablespoon (a scant palmful) coriander
  • 1 tablespoon (a scant palmful) sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) allspice
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) oregano
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina, polenta or grits
  • 12 to 18 individual bags Fritos corn chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Minced white onions
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream


Serves: 4-6 servings


Toast dry chilies in a saucepot, add stock and simmer to soften; purée in a food processor. 
Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add oil, 2 turns of the pan, and bacon; render 2 minutes. Add beef and brown and crumble until crispy and deep brown. Add salt and pepper, chipotle purée or chili powder and the dry spices. Stir to toast them then add onions and garlic, and cook to soften, 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir; add Worcestershire, tomatoes with chilies, beans and 2 cups water. Add masa or cornmeal or grits, and simmer to thicken, 20-30 minutes more.

To serve, open an individual size bag of corn chips and spoon chili directly into the bag. Top with cheese and additional toppings of choice. Serve with a spoon to eat right out of the bag.


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