Ranger Chili and Texas Frito Pie

Texas Ranger Badge

Texas Ranger Badge

Well, we made it to fall and the weather is definitely turning colder.

Growing up in North Texas, fall means football and chili.  My family always celebrated the first norther…that means “cold front” to non-Texans…by making a a big pot of chili.  Now, I am talking about Texas Chili or Texas Red as others call it.  This is real chili and does not include beans.  Let me repeat that…real chili does not have beans.  When you add beans to chili, it makes the dish soup…period.  I like a good soup mind you but Texas Chili is all meat.

One of the goals of this site is to provide easy recipes that become building blocks for more complex dishes.  As you will see, the Ranger Chili recipe below uses Texican Hot Sauce as a base ingredient and that recipe was in a previous Chicken Fried Buffalo post.  There are many good chili recipes but some just really require to much work.  This is very easy and is ready to serve in an hour.  Having made this chili for many years, I have locked down on specific spices…some I import from Texas like San Antonio Chili Powder from Central Market or Ghirardelli’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder…but it works just as well with inexpensive store-brand items.  As for the beer, a nice lager works fine.

I get the question about using chocolate quite a bit.  Chocolate is used in mole and is a perfect flavor compliment to ground chilies.

Also, you can half this recipe if you don’t need as much chili or it can be doubled if you are feeding a big crowd.


  • 2        Pounds Ground Meat
  • 32      Ounces TEXICAN HOT SAUCE
  • 2        TB Chili Powder
  • 2        TB Ground Cumin
  • 1        TB Black Pepper
  • 1        TB Sugar
  • 1        TB Chocolate Powder
  • ½       TB Salt
  • 12     Ounces Beer

In large pot, brown meat.  Drain fat.  Add Texican Hot Sauce and remaining ingredients.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer on low for one (1) hour.

Once you have your Ranger Chili made, I suggest that you serve it as Texas Frito Pie.  First of all, it is not really a pie but this Texas favorite is served at just about every high school football game concession stand in the state.  It is simple and quite tasty.  Recently, food bad boy Anthony Bourdain got himself in a little trouble talking about Frito Pie.


  • 4       Cups Original Fritos® or generic corn chips
  • 4       Cups Ranger Chili
  • 1       Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4   Cup Chopped Onion

Spoon the Ranger Chili over the corn chips.  Then top with cheese and onion.  Serve immediately,

I hope that you enjoy the Ranger Chili and Texas Frito Chili Pie.


Posted on October 28, 2013, in Chicken Fried Buffalo, Comfort Food, Craft Beer, Food, Recipes, Texas Food, Texpatriate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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