Downright Tex-Mex: Fornetto’s down-home chili


The chili base:

  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) ground meat of your choice. I always use half pork and half beef, lean
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers (capsicums), seeded and chopped
  • 1 425 gr can (15 oz) fresh (about 2 cups) or canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 425 gr can (15 oz) red kidney beans
  • 2 425 gr can (15 oz) black beans
  • 2.5 L (2.5 30 oz cans or 10.5 cups) tomato sauce
  • 70 gr (2.5 oz about 5 tbs.) tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Options for garnishes:

  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Finely chopped chilies and coriander (cilantro)

The Fornetto chili spice mix:

  • 1.5 tbs. each ground cumin and coriander seeds (cilantro)
  • 1 tbs. each garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and oregano


  • Preheat your Fornetto oven or your conventional oven to 200 ℃ (400 ℉ ). See tip below about making the chili on the grill instead.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet/fry pan and fry the onions until translucent.
  • Add the meat and brown. Strain away any liquid and return to the heat.
  • When the remaining liquid has evaporated and only the oil remains, add your spices and fry for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In your stew pot combine all remaining ingredients with the spiced meat mixture.
  • Place the stew pot in your Fornetto and cook for 1 hour covered. If you have a Fornetto oven, light your smoking chips and place in the combustion chamber. Be very careful as it will be extremely hot! Turn the flue to “smoke”
  • Cook the chili for another half an hour uncovered.

Tip: Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and finely chopped chilies. Cornbread and guacamole lend them perfectly to this chill as well!

Tip: You can also prepare this dish on the grill. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over a medium heat (180 to 200C). It should take around an hour an a half, until the meat is very tender.

Click here to read our blog about Tex-Mex cooking (with links to other recipes)