Buffalo Gap Brisket Chili – Texas Style

My Dad, Horace Peter Wilson, grew up in Abilene, Texas, just north of Buffalo Gap, Texas.  He was raised by his Uncle Ernest “Ernie” Wilson and his Aunt Pauline.  Uncle Ernie was the founder of what was originally “The Ernie Wilson Museum of the Wild West“.  The Museum was founded in 1956.  In February 2017, Taylor County took ownership of the expanded grounds, buildings, and artifacts.

Texas style chili and BBQ are in our blood.  My peeps arrived there around 1850 and survived on the frontier as lawmen, lawyers, cattle ranchers and entrepreneurs.  I grew up with it, watching Dad cook on weekends.  We weren’t in Texas, it was Long Island at that time, but the heart and feel was always Lone Star.

If you read my prior article, you would know that the Brewsherpa and I had a lot of leftover smoked brisket.  Brisket tacos (on corn tortillas with homemade salsa, lettuce and cheese) were a hit.  Brisket hash was excellent too, however, the top of the mountain is Buffalo Gap Brisket Chili. This recipe is an updated version of one of my father’s award winning chili recipes.   Hope you try it and enjoy it!  Please let us know what you think!

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Perfect for leftover brisket. Easy to make. Can use regular or smoked brisket. Hearty and delicious.


5 pounds beef brisket, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
8 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
2 bay leaves
6 cups tomatoes, chopped with their liquid
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup strong coffee
Three 15-ounce cans kidney beans
Optional:  top with sour cream, grated cheddar, diced tomato, tortilla chips, guacamole


Slice leftover smoked brisket into bit size cubes (trim fat).
Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until limp, but not brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chili powder, pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cumin and saute for 1 minute.
Add the green peppers, bay leaves, tomatoes with their juice, the brisket chunks, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt, to taste.
Add the coffee and kidney beans, cover the pot and simmer for 1 more hour.
Transfer the chili to a large serving bowl.  Optional:  serve with your choice of sour cream, grated Cheddar, diced tomato, tortilla chips and guacamole.


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