Beef Chili

Beef Chili

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It’s faster and easier to brown the meat in larger pieces first and chop them afterward. Using intact dried chiles instead of jarred powders contributes a more complex flavor and a saturated color. Adding lager imparts just the right amount of bitterness, rounding out the chiles. This is a part of our Super Bowl party menu—see the rest of the recipes here.


  • 4 large or 6 medium ancho chiles
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into ½-inch slices
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Toppings as desired (sour cream, grated cheddar, chopped red onion, lime wedges, cilantro, sliced avocado, pickled jalapeños, corn nuts, and don't forget Fritos)

Recipe Preparation

  • Remove seeds from ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chiles and place in a medium bowl. Pour in 3 cups boiling water and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; let sit until chiles are softened, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chiles and soaking liquid to a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute; set aside.

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Season beef all over with salt and pepper. Working in 2–3 batches, cook, turning pieces once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  • Reduce heat to medium; add onions and garlic to pot. Cook, stirring often to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot, until onions are translucent and very soft, 6–8 minutes. Add cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until spices start to stick to pot, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and brown sugar and scrape bottom of pot to loosen spices, then add lager. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until beer is almost completely evaporated, 10–15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cut beef into ½" pieces, discarding any large bits of fat or gristle.

  • Add beef, reserved chile purée, and 2 cups water to pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, until liquid is thickened and meat is very tender, 1½–2 hours. Taste chili and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Divide chili among bowls and top as desired.

  • Do Ahead: Chili can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat gently over low, stirring occasionally, and adding a splash of water to loosen if needed.

Reviews Sectionhands down one of the best chili recipes i've found!!! i never follow cooking recipes to the tee, i'm a natural improviser but i have always used this as a reference point and my chili comes out on point every timesheisflamemojiDallas, TX04/19/20Make this recipe, it's delicious! It has a deep, developed flavor and is very filling. I could only find dried pasilla chiles in my local grocery store so that's what I used. Favorite toppings: crushed fritos, sour cream, diced red onion, shredded cheese and pickled jalapenos!whitneybPORTLAND, OREGON03/20/20This chili is amazing!! Though I will also say that I think it takes a lot better the 2nd and 3rd day than it does the first. Give that chili time to marinate in it's own deliciousness!hhastingsPortland, Oregon01/16/20Made it today. Followed the recipe. No changes. Pretty good. Not amazing. I was looking for a bean-less recipe because not everyone in my family likes beans. More like meat soup than chili. Could use some vegetables, perhaps. Or serve it over cornbread. The flavor is unique and good. And the process with the peppers is a good one to know. Definitely reusable in other recipes and a nice alternative to chili powder. Only other thing is three T of brown sugar is probably too much.This recipe is virtually perfect. Balanced in all the right ways and exceptionally beefy. Followed the recipe exactly and it yielded an end result that people scraped the bottom of the pot for. You won me a chili cook-off, thanks Claire!Not-a-goatThe North11/30/19This recipe is fantastic! I make it at least a few times a year (started the month it was published) and my guests applaud it. I'm so happy to find a recipe that doesn't require me to toast the chiles -- I still haven't gotten that down!Question: instead of soaking the chiles in a bowl and transferring them to a stand blender, couldn't you just start them out in the stand blender and soak them there? Is there any reason not to? Thanks!Ground beef chili is an abomination. This here is the real thing. Beautiful.The absolute best chili I have ever had. I took it to a chili cook off and I had NO leftovers. I will never make another chili againsiennafrancescaCalifornia 04/14/19This chili is fantastic! So flavorful and hearty.AnonymousCalifornia03/02/19made this recipe for a party and literally everyone said it was the best chili they had ever had. One person said she didn't usually even like chili, but asked me for this recipe because she wanted to make it.My wife likes beans in chili, so we made half of it with beans, and it was a totally fine addition.AnonymousLos Angeles02/05/19This recipe was to die for. I will honestly never make another chili again. Everyone that was at my little football party was raving about it, calling it the best chili they've ever had. HIGHLY recommend. If you're concerned about spice (my fiance has heartburn problems), just cut the amount of peppers in half. These particular peppers are not super spicy, just flavorful and smokey.sbalashMassachusetts02/01/19We've made this several times now and it's by far the best chili recipe ever. Full stop. We live in the UK at the moment so swapped chilis for what we could find (used a mix of red and green chilies, jalapeños and scotch bonnet peppers). It has the perfect amount of heat, warmth and sweetness. Highly recommend.Toughest part was finding all of the chilis. Delicious as written but I added some fresh habanero to increase the heat. It will taste great again with chips or hot dogs watching the Rose Bowl tomorrow.AnonymousCalifornia12/31/18Smoky and rich in flavor. I added a bit more cumin and oregano as I like strong flavors. I love the color of the chili. Will definitely make it again.ChristinalfNEWPORT Beach, CA12/23/18I was wondering the same thing NC. This recipe sounds really good and not a million ingredients so I am planning on trying it. One of Our site's appetizers I adore doesn't have many reviews either but it blew me away and I gave it 5 stars. The marinated olives with feta is to die for.AnonymousPalm Harbor, FL12/20/18I always wonder why there are none, or few reviews. Perhaps a reason exists................what might it be?

Jumpstart Your Healthy Eating with This Yummy Beef Chili - 8 Day Jumpstart Approved

When the temperatures start to dip, nothing quite hits the spot like a nice warm bowl of chili. But if you’re trying to live a low carb lifestyle, chili might seem off limits. Not anymore. This beanless beef chili is one of the Xyngular low carb recipes that is short on carbs, but big on taste.

  1. Start by searing the beef. This extra step will take you about 10 minutes, but I promise that it is well worth the effort.
  2. Now mince the onion and celery so that they are the same size. We don't want any big chunks of celery here messing with the beef. If you mince the celery, it will blend into the sauce and add flavor without turning this into a veggie-focused chili. Keep the focus on the steak!
  3. Caramelize the tomato paste. It's as easy as adding it to the pot and letting it cook until it becomes slightly darker and sweet-smelling. Big-time flavortown here.
  4. After you add the spices to the pot, pour in the beef bone broth and scrape the bottom of the pot so that every delicious morsel of that dark brown stuff on the bottom of your pot (vond) works its way into your chili.
  5. Now add some crushed tomatoes, a little honey (yes!), and that beautifully seared steak and let it gently simmer away for 2 hours. When you come back to your stove, stir some beans into the pot and be prepared to fall in love.

We like to use chuck steak which has lots of beefy flavor. But any cut of beef that is marked as ‘stewing beef' or ‘beef roast' will work well in this recipe. You want a tough cut of beef that will soften and become tender and tasty after a long cook.

Avoid any of the lean cuts intended to be served on a plate. Rib-eye, sirloin, and porterhouse are a few examples of steak NOT to use. You'll know which ones they are as they'll be the most expensive. They will dry out when simmered for hours and you'll end up with tough bits of meat in your chili. We don't want this!

Instead, look for the cheapest cuts of steak. The inexpensive cuts get better the longer that they are cooked.

I know…Chili sounds like a fall-winter meal! But this morning I woke craving it. My oldest daughter, Andrea, loves it. My husband not so much but I still prepare the whole recipe. It is more than enough for two so I freeze the rest to use it one of those days I have no desire or time to cook.

This recipe was one of the first ones I learned when we arrived to the United States 10 years ago. A dear friend of mine taught me how to prepare it. The only differences from the original recipe is that I use a lot more garlic and chili powder. I love the intensity that those two ingredients add to the chili. However, if you do not like it that way you only have to reduce the amount of those two ingredients to your taste.

Red Beef Chili Recipe (Two Years National Champion Recipe)

Red Beef Chili Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Coarse ground beef (chili grand)
  • Cooking oil
  • Granulated onion
  • 1 can (8oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can (15oz) Beef Broth
  • Light Chili Powder
  • Dark Chili Powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black Pepper
  • Chicken Granules (or 1 cube)
  • Paprika

Cooking Your Chili

Heat up a pan, and start adding the ingredients in the following sequence…

First, add 2 lbs. coarse ground beef, 1 tablespoon cooking oil and 1 tablespoon granulated onion. Mix the ingredients and lightly brown the meat.

Next, add 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce and 1 can (15oz) beef broth. Cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, add 1 tablespoon light chili powder, 2 tablespoon dark chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon chicken granules (or 1 cube).

Continue to simmer for another hour stirring occasionally.

Finally, add 1 tablespoon light chili powder, 1 tablespoon dark chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 tablespoon cumin. Add water if needed. If you want a less salty result, you could use 8 oz of beef broth earlier in the second step, and water at the end.

Leave covered and simmer for 30 minutes.

Once finished enjoy with some crackers, bread, or even over some rice. But be prepared to make this in large batches because this chili is going to blow your mind and make your family’s mouths water for more!

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Tips For This Beef Chili Recipe:

  • I use 90% lean ground beef. It&rsquos got plenty of flavor without all the extra fat.
  • This recipe is very versatile. Feel free to add the amount of spices and other ingredients that you prefer.
  • This recipe makes for great leftovers and meal prep. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
  • Serve your chili with plenty of topping choices such as avocado, guacamole, cotjia cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, green onion, red onion, jalapeño slices, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, and/or crumbled corn bread.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds ground beef, preferably 85-percent lean
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed for less heat, if desired), finely chopped (4 teaspoons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sour cream and finely sliced chives or scallions, for serving

Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

Return pot to medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper cook until onions soften, about 6 minutes. Add chili powder, cocoa, and tomato paste cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

Add tomatoes, broth, and cooked beef. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until thickened slightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper serve with sour cream and chives.

Barbacoa Beef Chili

Starting your chili with barbacoa beef cooked in the slow cooker means that you will have one of the most flavorful pots of chili ever.

Okay, those Barbacoa beef tacos were good, but there’s still a lot left over….that was not unintentional.

Here is a glimpse inside my Machiavellian brain (mwah hhaa ha)…..I was thinking about making to make a beef chili, but I wanted to figure out how to get some serious flavor into the meat BEFORE it even met up with the beans and other ingredients. I also wanted shredded meat, not ground, and not cubed. So first, I made Barbacoa Beef, an extra big batch, and that was one great meal. And then, this happened.

The ingredient quantities here are for the full recipe of Barbacoa Beef, 3 pounds worth of slow cooked round eye, shredded, but if you used half of it for tacos or some other recipe, then you can easily cut all of these ingredients in half, and still have a seriously sized pot of chili. I mean this serves 16, and you may not have that kind of a crowd. But do keep in mind that chili freezes and reheats like a dream.

Starting your chili with barbacoa beef cooked in the slow cooker means that you will have one of the most flavorful pots of chili ever.

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And if you have leftover chili, and want to figure out a way to make yet a third different meal? Then you can turn a relatively small amount into yet another meal by creating a nacho bar! If you have tweens or teens or college kids in your house, then this is one of the greatest things you can put together for a meal, or even a robust snack. And definitely a go-to for a game day party.

Serve this with all the fixings: avocados or guacamole, sour cream, shredded, scallions, red onions, thinly sliced lettuce, shredded cheese or crumbled cheese. (Cotija cheese is great with this.)

Why you should make this homemade beef chili

  • Healthy and filling: This beef chili recipe is perfectly hearty and healthy with clean ingredients. Made with lean ground beef and beans for added protein and fiber. A perfectly complete meal that will keep you full and satisfied for hours.
  • So easy to make: making this chili is so easy. Whether you choose to cook it on your stove top of slow cooker. It will take little prep time and just let it cook.
  • Delicious: Robust and Bursting with flavor. Hearty and delicious.

  • 1 pound beef round, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 12 ounces dark or light beer
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, (not packed in oil), snipped into small pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 19-ounce cans dark kidney beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with another 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions and bell peppers cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Add beer and simmer, scraping up any browned bits, for about 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, bay leaves and reserved beef. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Add beans cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chili has thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tip: The chili will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Tip: For a hot, smoky chili, add 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.

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