For those who have been in Austin for at least 30 years, this long-lost recipe will bring back memories of the popular Fall Festival at Pioneer Farms — when volunteers served up bowls of this sumptuous chili to visitors. It’s one of three original recipes for the famous chili.

Serves: 6-8


· 2 pounds ground beef

· 2 cloves garlic, chopped

· One 8-ounce can tomato sauce

· 2 tablespoons chili powder

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon ground oregano

· 1 teaspoon salt

· ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

· ¼ cup masa harina (corn flour)

· One 15-ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

· One 15-ounce can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

· Shredded Cheddar and chopped onions


Place the ground beef in a large pot and add the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat. Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and salt. Stir together well, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add ½ cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add ½ cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa mixture and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar, chopped onions.