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.
The Best Beef Chili with Thick Chunks of Beef
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 a classic chili recipe. Homemade 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 spice rubbed beef before it goes into the pot. I 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?
Beef Chili Ingredients
- Beef Chuck Pot Roast. You can use other cuts of slow cooker beef.
- Chili Seasonings. Chili powder, ancho powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Chili Peppers. I'm using a mix of fresh peppers (jalapenos, aleppos, habanero, and senise peppers). Use your favorites, or use bell pepper for a milder version.
- Bacon. For added flavor.
- Chili Beans. I'm using a mix of light and dark red kidney beans. Pinto beans or other beans can be used.
- Fresh Tomatoes. I used fresh chopped tomatoes, but you can use canned crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or tomato sauce.
- Beer. I used Negra Modelo, but you can use your favorite. I like a darker beer for this beef chili. Use beef broth as an alternative.
- For Serving. Sour cream or crema, or Greek yogurt. Bonus points if it is chipotle crema!
How to Make Beef Chili - the Recipe Method
Heat the Oil. Heat the oil in a large pan to medium-high heat.
Season the Beef. Rub the beef chuck with 2 tablespoon chili powder, garlic, salt and cumin.
Sear the Beef. Sear each side of the beef in the hot pan to get a nice brown crust, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the seared beef and set it aside.
Cook the Onion and Bacon. Reduce the heat to medium heat and add the onion, and minced bacon. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Deglaze the Pan. 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.
There is lots of flavor in those bits stuck to the pan. It's best to use it.
Beef and Beans. Add the reserved beef and kidney beans. Cover.
Roast the Tomatoes and Peppers. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the tomatoes and peppers in half then set onto a large baking sheet, skin sides up.
Roast 20 minutes, or until skins are charred. Remove from heat, slightly cool and peel.
Add to the Slow Cooker. Chop the tomatoes and peppers and add to the slow cooker, along with the ancho powder. Stir to incorporate.
Slow Cook the Beef Chili. Slow cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or simmer the chili until the beef is fork tender.
Serve! Serve into bowls with sour cream swirled over the top, along with your favorite chili toppings. Don't forget the hot sauce, my friends!
Recipe Heat Factor
If you're looking for a milder version, go with bell peppers, which will bring in LOTS of flavor without any heat.
Looking forward to the leftovers! I love this stuff! Such a great recipe.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- Searing the beef in a hot pan is an essential flavor building step. I encourage you not to skip it.
- Refrigerate the chili overnight to let the flavors mingle. Reheat and serve it the next day. It's always better the next day.
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 lean ground beef makes great chili.
Storage and Leftovers
You can freeze beef chili. 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.
You can also store leftover beef chili in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
What To Serve with Beef 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.
Diced avocado is nice, too. 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
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
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)
- 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
- 3 jalapeno peppers (I used a mix of Senise peppers, jalapenos, Aleppos and habaneros. Use 1 large bell pepper for a milder version)
- 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- Sour cream or crema for serving. Bonus points if it is chipotle crema! Don't forget the hot sauce!
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium-high heat.
- Rub the beef chuck with the chili powder, garlic, salt and cumin.
- Sear each side of the beef in the hot pan to get a nice brown crust, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the seared beef and set it aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion, and minced bacon. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
- 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 the reserved beef and kidney beans. Cover.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the tomatoes and peppers in half then set onto a large baking sheet, skin sides up.
- Roast 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, along with the ancho powder. Stir to incorporate.
- Slow cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or until the beef is fork tender.
- Serve into bowls with sour cream swirled over the top, along with your favorite chili toppings.
This recipe was updated on 2/28/19 to include new recipes and info. It was originally published on 1/8/2015.