Our Favorite Chili(ATK)

Total Time
3hrs 30mins
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs

A 4-pound chuck-eye roast, well trimmed of fat, can be substituted for the steak. Because much of the chili flavor is held in the fat of this dish, refrain from skimming fat from the surface. Wear gloves when working with both dried and fresh chiles. Dried New Mexican or guajillo chiles make a good substitute for the anchos; each dried árbol may be substituted with 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. If you prefer not to work with any whole dried chiles, the anchos and árbols can be replaced with 1/2 cup commercial chili powder and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, though the texture of the chili will be slightly compromised. Good choices for condiments include diced avocado, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, lime wedges, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. The chili can be made up to 3 days in advance. Prep time includes the beans soaking time.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Beans

  • 3 tablespoons table salt
  • 12 lb dried pinto bean, rinsed and picked over (about 1 cup)
  • Homemade Chili paste

  • 6 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 ounces)
  • 2 -4 dried arbol chiles, stems removed, pods split, and seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 12 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Chili

  • 2 medium onions, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 3 small jalapeno chiles, stems and seeds removed and discarded, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced-pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons light molasses
  • 3 12 lbs blade steaks, 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (see note)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottlemild-flavored lager beer, such as Budweiser


  1. Beans: Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 4 quarts water, and beans in large Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Chili paste: Place ancho chiles in 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if chiles begin to smoke. Transfer to bowl of food processor and cool. Do not wash out skillet. Add árbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor with toasted ancho chiles; process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup broth until smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer paste to small bowl.
  4. Chili: Place onions in now-empty(uncleaned) processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalapenos and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, tomatoes, and molasses; stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups broth and drained beans; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add ½ bottle lager to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil, steak, and lager. Once last addition of lager has been added to Dutch oven, stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.
  7. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat and beans are fully tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Let chili stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir well and season to taste with salt before serving.
Most Helpful

5 5

Been married 45 years and have had less than stellar results making chili until I found this recipe. I won't bother looking for another. It takes some time in preparation but the results are well worth the work. I have never found the cut of meat it asks for in our local area so just use whatever is available and I can't imagine it being any better. Don't be afraid to give it a try. You will be glad you did!