A hearty beef chili recipe made with lots of beef chuck, flavorful spices, and a variety of chili peppers. When it comes to beef chili, this is the "beefiest". This one is made in the crockpot.
Where we live it gets cold. I mean COLD. It was in the negative digits last night, bottoming out around -8 degrees, and that is without the wind chill factor.
What is a person to do on a cold night? Make chili. Chili is such a wonderful comfort food. Don't you think? One major thing we both love about chili is that it can be made in so many different ways. One of my favorites is beef chili.
I Love Hearty Beef Chili
Chili can be hearty, it can be healthy, it can be decadent, it can certainly be flavorful. You can play around with flavors and the chili pot is usually very forgiving.
AND...it's just so good.
There is nothing like curling up near the fire with a big bowl of satisfying chili to warm the bones. This particular recipe brings in a Chuck Roast that makes this beef chili extra "beefy". The roast breaks apart nicely in the slow cooker and the flavors really mingle.
You won't get a beefier beef chili.
Make sure to get a nice sear on the rubbed roast before it goes into the pot. We also used a variety of chili peppers for this one. I wanted heat, personally, but I also had some peppers that needed to be used, and what better way to flavor a huge pot of chili?
Let's talk about how to make beef chili, shall we?
How to Make Beef Chili - the Recipe Method
First, heat a large pan to medium heat.
Next, rub the beef chuck with the chili powder, garlic, salt and cumin.
Add beef chuck with chopped onion and minced bacon. The bacon brings in some AWESOME flavor.
Sear each side of the beef and cook down the onion, about 5 minutes.
Pour a quarter of the beer into the pot to deglaze, then dump the mixture into a slow cooker or crock pot. Add the rest of the beer to the slow cooker as well. If you'd like to skip the beer, use chicken broth or beef broth instead.
Add kidney beans and cover.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the tomatoes and peppers in half then set onto a large baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes, or until skins are charred. Remove from heat, slightly cool and peel.
Chop the tomatoes and peppers and add to the slow cooker.
Add ancho chili powder and stir well.
Slow cook on medium for at least 4 hours. The meat will become very fork tender. If needed, let it cook longer until it is very tender and flavorful.
Serve with some sour cream swirled over the top.
About the Chili Peppers
If you're looking for a milder version, go with bell peppers, which will bring in LOTS of flavor without any heat. I often make this with only jalapeno peppers for a nice low to mid-level range of heat. Green peppers have no heat.
Serrano peppers really ROCK here for my spicier food loving friends. Habaneros ROCK, too for extra kick!! So many spicy green or red peppers will work for you. Try your favorite combination.
Looking forward to the leftovers! I love this stuff! Such a great recipe.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- The Beans. I made mine with kidney beans, but you can use other beans if you'd like. Try it with black beans, pinto beans, white beans, or a combination of them. More on this below.
- The Beef. You can also change up the meat. Try it with ground beef instead of chuck, or use a combination of them. Also, I know it is called "beef chili", but you can make this recipe with ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork. You'll save a few calories with leaner meats. More on this below.
- The Tomatoes. I used fresh chopped tomatoes, but you can use canned crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or tomato sauce.
- Chili Paste vs. Chili Powder. One reader decided to make this with chili paste instead of chili powder. Yes, you can absolutely do this. Chili paste can be substituted at 4:1 for chili powder (use 4 tablespoons of chili paste for every 1 tablespoon of powder).
What Are the Best Beans to Use for Chili?
Pinto beans and kidney beans are the most commonly used beans for chili, though any type of firm bean can work for you. Some types of beans that also make great chili include black beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans, and black eyed peas. Some beans just aren't meant to use for making chili, like chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or any bean that will get too mushy in the pot.
Should I Drain Canned Beans for Making Chili?
If you're using canned beans, it is best to drain the cloudy liquid from the beans, which is mostly starch and salt for preserving, then rinse the beans before using them. The preserving liquid can affect the flavor of your pot of chili. Also, rinsing the beans will help to remove any metallic taste from the can.
What is the Best Beef for Chili?
Different types of beef will affect the final flavor of your chili. I enjoy using beef chuck, which breaks down from low and slow cooking in the pot of chili. Short rib and brisket are excellent choices as well. However, if you're looking for an inexpensive alternative that has great flavor, you can't beat ground beef. 80/20 ground beef makes great chili.
Can You Freeze Beef Chili?
Yes, chili can be frozen. Make yourself an extra large batch. Just cool the chili. Transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to eat it, thaw, reheat and enjoy.
What Do You Serve with Chili?
I always top my bowls of chili with fresh sliced chili peppers and some type of chopped fresh herb. Sometimes I like to roast the peppers first, then slice them. Green onion works nicely, as does chopped cilantro or parsley.
Other favorites include crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbly white cheese, sour cream, spicy chili flakes.
So many options!
Also, instead of serving your chili in a bowl, try spooning it over hot dogs or grilled sausages. Use it to make chili mac and cheese. Yum! Get creative! This is some dang good chili.
Try Some of My Other Popular Chili Recipes
- Southwest Style Slow Cooker Chili
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Homemade Roasted Tomatillo Pork Chili
- Pork Chili with Roasted Red Hatch Chili Peppers
- Chili Colorado
- Chili Verde
- Easy Black Bean Chili
- "Real Deal" Turkey Chili
- Crockpot Chili
- Cheesy Chili Mac and Cheese
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Beef Chili Recipe
- 20 ounce Beef Chuck Pot Roast cubed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 large onion chopped
- ¼ pound bacon minced
- 12 ounces beer I used Negra Modelo
- 1 can light red kidney beans 15.5 ounces
- 1 can dark red kidney beans 15.5 ounces
- 3 pounds tomatoes
- 2 pounds mixed chili peppers I used Senise peppers, jalapenos, Aleppos and habaneros
- 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- Sour cream or crema for serving. Bonus points if it is chipotle crema!
- Heat a large pan to medium heat.
- Rub the beef chuck with the chilipowder, garlic, salt and cumin.
- Add beef chuck with chopped onion and minced bacon.
- Sear each side of the beef and cook down the onion, about 5 minutes.
- Pour a quarter of the beer into the pot to deglaze, then dump the mixture into a slow cooker. Add the rest of the beer to the slow cooker as well.
- Add kidney beans and cover.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the tomatoes and peppers in half then set onto a large baking sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until skins are charred. Remove from heat, slightly cool and peel.
- Chop the tomatoes and peppers and add to the slow cooker.
- Add dark chili powder and stir well.
- Slow cook on medium for at least 4 hours.
- Serve with some sour cream swirled over the top.
This recipe was updated on 2/28/19 to include new recipes and info. It was originally published on 1/8/2015.