Sue’s Texas Red

Chili Purée


  • 5 ancho chiles
  • 3 California chiles
  • 2 pasilla chiles
  • 4 small dried hot chiles
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • boiling water


  1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium and tear the chiles into flat pieces.  Toast them in the skillet, pressing down firmly with a metal spatula for a few seconds, until they crackle and change color.  Then flip them over and press down for a few seconds more.
  2. Remove from skillet and cover the chiles with boiling water.  Cover and let soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chiles to blender jar, add 1 cup fresh water, garlic, cumin, and oregano.  Blend until smooth (I use emersion hand blender) and strain through a medium mesh sieve.  Should make almost 2 cups of puree.



  • 2 lbs. coarse ground beef chuck
  • 1 lb. coarse ground pork
  • 1 medium chopped white onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 Negra Modelo beer or equivalent dark beer
  • 1 recipe chili purée (see above)
  • hot water


  1. Over medium heat, brown beef and pork with onion, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add can of tomatoes, cook down about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add chili puree, stir for about 4-5 minutes.  Add salt, can of beef broth, and beer.
  4. Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer, partially covered about 1 hour.
  5. Taste and check for thickness.  If sauce thickens beyond consistency of heavy cream, add hot water.  Simmer for 1 more hour.

Eggplant and Rice Dressing

Alone or stuffed in a bell pepper, this dirty rice is the real ish. Ron, upon tasting, said this rice was “mad light, but mad good”.


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (~ 2lbs)
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and brown the pork and beef. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook for bout 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted. Add the salt, cayenne, eggplant, and water. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft. With a spoon, mash the eggplant against the side of the pot.
  3. Add the rice and parsley. Mix thoroughly, breaking up any clumps. Heat until rice is warmed through. Serve Immediately.

Makes 8 servings

Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 4 lagre bell peppers
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups rice (white or wild) cooked
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • bread crumbs
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne papper


  1. Brown beef, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, onion, celery. Cook 4-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well. Add rice and some of tomato sauce to desired consistency. Add corn. Mix well. If needed, add more tomato sauce. Spoon into bell peppers.
  2. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs with salt, pepper, cayenne and parmesan. Cover peppers with bread crumb mixture. Place peppers in pan and cover bottom with water. Cook in 350° oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cook until melted.

Meat Loaf


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Meat from 3 hot Italian sausages (squeezed from casings)
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary or ground marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Peel of 1 lemon, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients with your scrupulously clean hands. Arrange in a standard 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 3/4-inch loaf pan lined with oiled aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake 30 minutes longer, basting with water as necessary. The meat loaf is done when an attractive brown crust has formed on top and the juices run clear.
  4. Let the meat loaf stand for 10 minutes. Then grasp the top of the aluminum foil at both ends of the loaf and pull it out of the pan and onto a serving platter. Raise the loaf off the foil with a spatula and slip out the foil.
  5. Serve with ketchup and/or the hot sauce or chutney of your choice. Like all meat loaves, this one is excellent eaten at room temperature.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Spaghetti and Meat Balls



  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and sauteed
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup pure olive oil

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juice, pureed in a blender
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade


  • 12 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 pound #8 or #9 spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 stick soften butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 country loaf, cut into 3/4-inch slices

Meat Ball Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, except olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat the oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and fry until golden brown, but not cooked through completely. (remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.)

Tomato Sauce Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add pureed tomatoes and juice, bay leaf and parsley, pepper flakes and salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, add meatballs and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and parsley, add the basil and serve.

Spaghetti Preparation

  1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  2. Drain well in a colander, toss in sauce, serve with meatballs and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Bread Preparation

  1. Combine butter and garlic. Spread evenly on bread and broil until browned.

Yields 4 servings.