Beef Chili


I've been making this chili for almost a decade now and haven't found much reason to modify it.  It's a dark, complex chili that leads with a little heat and brings a slow burn.  It's best when served a couple of days after you make it.d

Every time I bring chili to the party... this one is the one that disappears first.  Every time.  And people ask for more.



  •  1 lb small red or black beans, rinsed, sorted and soaked overnight (you can substitute a couple of cans of black beans if you don't want to do the overnight soak.  Rinse and drain them).
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head garlic, minced
  • 1.5 lbs stew meat, cut into uniform 1" chunks (I cut up a chuck roast if I don't have stew meat handy)
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • Better than Bullion Beef Base
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle stout or porter beer
  • 1 cup espresso
  • Chunk of good dark bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Big dose of chili sauce (Tapatio or Tobasco)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ancho or chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 2-4 chili peppers, seeds removed, chopped (I use habaneros, YMMV)



Heat about 1/4" olive oil in bottom of Dutch oven until just smoking.  Brown stew meat, a little at a time, until good and brown.  Watch heat, don't let it burn.  When meat is done, remove from Dutch oven and put the next batch in to brown.  

When all stew meat is browned, preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Saute onions and garlic in oil in Dutch oven, stirring up brown bits from the bottom.  When onions are translucent, put stew meat back in Dutch oven. Pour over enough water to cover meat and onions by about an inch.  Season with Montreal Steak Seasoning and a scoop of Better than Bullion.  Cover, put in oven to bake for 2 hours.

After about an hour, brown ground beef in bottom of large cook pot.  Drain and rinse beans, add to pot along with the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer over low heat, partially covered.  When the stew meat has cooked for 2 hours, add it with its liquid to cook pot, too.  Keep simmering until liquid evaporates a bit and flavors are blended, about an hour minimum.  Stir occasionally to keep it from burning.

Serve with corn bread, preferably a day or two after making it.