Grub Americana

Bob Plager’s Pools Brew Chili

This is said to be the original recipe for the chili served at the highly popular Bob Pool's Chili Joint in Dallas, Texas. Pool's closed in the mid-1950s.

This recipe makes 4 Texas-sized servings.

Whatcha Need:

  • 2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat and gristle and cut into small cubes
  • Vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, for browning meat
  • 1 can (14-ounce) beef broth
  • 1 can (14-ounce) chicken broth
  • 1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 2 pitted dry-pack prunes
  • Water if required

Spice mix #1:

  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons beef granules
  • 1 teaspoon chicken granules
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder

Spice mix #2:

  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons chili powder

Spice mix #3:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste

Whatcha Do:

  1. In a heavy medium-sized pot, brown the meat in a small amount of vegetable shortening over high heat. Drain off excess shortening.

  2. Add beef broth, chicken broth, tomato sauce, prunes, and spice mixture #1. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover the pot, and cook approximately 2 hours. Remove prunes and add water if necessary. Cook mixture longer if meat is not yet tender.

  3. Thirty minutes before turn-in (or before serving), add spice mixture #2 and cook over low heat.

  4. Fifteen minutes before turn-in (or before serving), add spice mixture #3 and continue cooking over low heat. Salt the chili to taste and serve hot.