Hillbilly Chili

Hillbilly Chili, inspired by Don Henley's Chili Recipe

What meat is used in our Chili?

We use a combination of ground beef and ground pork. The pork lends a little extra fat that the beef sometimes needs, and gives it the flavor we love. 

Where did the dish come from?

We created this recipe from years of working with Don Henley's Chili recipe. And in true Don Henley fashion, there are no beans! 

Hillbilly Nutrition's Hillbilly Chili


  • 1 Tbls cooking fat (we use this one)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1lb of ground pork
  • 3lbs of ground beef
  • 1 Beer
  • 1 15 ounce jar of tomato sauce (not paste). Fire-roasted would work well here too.
  • 4 tsp Salt
  • 2 heaping tsp cumin 
  • 8 Cloves of Garlic smashed or chopped
  • 3 heaping Tbls chili powder 
  • 2 level tsp paprika
  • 4 level tsp oregano
  • 1 level tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2-3 heaping Tbls Masa (corn flower)
    • 2 level tsp cayenne pepper
    • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers (seeds removed and chopped)
    • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • Garnishes (Optional):
    • Chopped Onion
    • Chopped Cilantro
    • Lime wedges
    • Hot sauces of your choice
    • Guacamole
    • Sour Cream
  • Serve with Tortilla chips, corn chips, or hot tortillas



    In a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute the meat, onions, and half the garlic in the cooking fat. Once all of the meat is browned add the tomato sauce. Rinse the tomato sauce jar with your beer and empty the rest into your beef and onion mixture. (keep the jar handy for skimming any excess grease off the top in Step Two)


    Add enough water so that meat is covered by 1/2 inch. Add the remainder of the ingredients (salt through black pepper above and include the optional ingredients if you like it hot). We typically leave them out and save them for a garnish (adding heat on the back end to spare the littles in the house and any guests who aren't from Texas) LOL

    Bring everything to a mild boil and turn the heat down immediately. Let it simmer UNCOVERED for at least an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, and skimming off any excess grease that rises to the top.


    Put your Masa in a measuring cup and take some of the liquid from the chili pot to make a paste. If you are running low on liquid, you can use water here. Add paste to the pot and stir thoroughly to distribute throughout. Let simmer another 30 minutes - 5 hours. The longer this simmers, the better it gets!


    Serve with your choice of garnishes listed above. If serving with chips, some people like to pour their chili over the top of their chips, some like to dip. It's completely up to you. Customize it how you wish, but ENJOY!