Steak Chili — Damn Delicious

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Steak Chili

A cozy, comforting chili made with the most unbelievably tender pieces of steak!

With the weather getting a bit cooler, there’s no better time than to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a good book and a hot bowl of chili. No wait. A hot bowl of chili with steak. And freshly made jalapeño cornbread of course.

I seriously inhaled an entire bowlful of chili as soon as it came off the stove. The best part? No, it’s not the juicy, tender chunks of steak meat that soaked up all the chili. No, it’s not all the garnished jalapeño monterey jack cheese that got melted into the chili into ooey gooey goodness. It’s the cornbread counterpart. It’s the dunking of the cornbread into the chili and savoring every. single. bite.

So here’s how you make this:

Let’s first start with some steak meat. I got mine from Trader Joe’s.

Make sure the meat is all seasoned with salt and pepper before searing it in a preheated Dutch oven. Yeah, this is exactly why I can’t be a full-time vegetarian.

Next we’ll throw in some onion, garlic and jalapeños. I added 3 jalapeños because I like my stuff super spicy but if that’s too much, adding just 1 will be more than enough.

Then comes the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and lots and lots of kidney beans. Be sure to add some water too to make it more “soupy” and to have most of the ingredients covered. I think I added about 1-2 cups.

Now we’ll put the lid on, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer into absolute amazingness.

And that’s it! Just serve it with a generous sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese (I love the jalapeño one from Trader Joe’s) and some freshly made cornbread.

Steak Chili

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

A cozy, comforting chili made with the most unbelievably tender pieces of steak!


  • 1 1/2 pounds stew meat, diced into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-3 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
  • Jalapeño cornbread, for serving


  1. Season stew meat with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Add stew meat and sear until browned, about 2 minutes. Add onion, garlic and jalapeños, and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, kidney beans and 1-2 cups water, making sure to cover most of the ingredients.
  3. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 90-120 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately with jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese and cornbread, if desired.

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Thank you for the lovely recipe. Have a good week.

Yummy yum yum. Loved this. I mean really good. So good. Yes, that good. Simple easy good. No, better than good. The best! Hawaiians would say Da Kine or Broke da mouth! Norwegians would say UFF DA. Mexicans would say Muy Bueno. You get my drift.
Thank you for a great recipe.

– Yummy! I followed your recipe exactly but replaced the water with a can of beer, it came out A-mazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

I love the beer substitution – will definitely have to try that next time!

Instead of the water, I added 70cl of vodka ! It was truly smash-ing !

This looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it! It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, there is always room for chili! The link for the jalapeno cornbread leads to an outdated page though, and I could not find it in your recipes catalog..

Kiley, thanks for the heads-up on the cornbread link. Here is the correct link: It is listed under “appetizers” in the recipe index.

Can I prepare this in a crockpot? If I can should I throw everything in at once or brown the meat first.

Melissa, please understand that it is very difficult to give exact conversion information to translate a traditional stovetop recipe to the slow cooker method without further recipe testing. I recommend using your own judgement to convert this recipe to utilize a slow cooker.

Definitely brown the meat before using a crockpot

Trying this recipe tonight but i made a big boo boo and forgot todrain the beans before adding them to the pot. Didn’t realize that it called for them to be drained and rinsed until after i added them, the extra water and all the other ingredients. I am hoping i didnt mess it up too bad! I was so looking forward to this dish! Any advice??

Shelby, unfortunately, I do not have any advice on what you can do to fix this dish. I hope it was still edible! On a side note, it is always best to read over a recipe at least twice prior to cooking. You won’t believe the difference it makes!

I used beef broth instead of water, because the recipe I usually use says to do so. Other than that the recipes are identical.. I haven’t tried it yet because its still cooking. Smells good though!

I loved your recipe. I made this the other night although I did make a few changes *sorry*. As for the meat I used steak tips and beef ribs (it was what was in the freezer). I also added black beans, cumin and bay leaves. It probably could have used more jalapenos or cayenne but I still loved it. Oh, and most importantly I also added a splash of beer (Red Hook – Audible). I cooked it in a dutch oven on the stove since I browned the meat and sauted the onions and garlic in it so I didn’t want to change the pot for flavoring reasons (hope you can understand that). Thank you for the idea as my hunny and I were looking for something different than the ground meat version of chili. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Why do people like yourself say….great recipie BUT….and then change it all up as if your going to try and 1-up the ladies recipie? I’ve never understood this but have always found this odd behavior to be disrespectful. If you want to change it then do so but there’s no need to trump your news. With that being said I think the original version sounds far superior. Be mindful

Honestly, I always read the comments on recipes to look for possible substitutions people make. Sometimes a tweak here or there fits other people’s tastes better, I don’t think it’s necessarily disrespectful to the original poster. Maybe they thought of something she hadn’t, or like things a different way. I often read several similar recipes and combine a few aspects of each. It’s called experimenting and it’s totally okay. 🙂

Silly question, but how big is your Dutch oven? I want to make sure my pot is big enough?

I used a 6 3/4 qt Dutch oven.

If you do not like it Hot. I use Anaheim peppers or green chilies. I also like to carmalize my onions with the meat and put fresh garlic with it. If you have time to make the meat really good. You can wrap the stew chunks in a paper towel and let them sit in the fridge for 5 to 7 days to cool dry them. Then when you add the seasonings and water it will soak it right up.

If using a slow cooker, you don’t really need to brown the stewing beef first. Two disadvantages with browning: it adds calories with the oil and creates an extra step/more dishes! I have found some recipes that say to put the meat directly into the crockpot/slow cooker. This is what I do, and I always find the meat to be tender and tasty. Why take the extra step if not really needed?

Because if you’re not going to add flavor via browning, you might as well throw a shoe in the pot in lieu of meat. It’s going to taste the same.

I’m confused, why would it taste the same as an old boot? Are you speaking of the flavor of the meat, or the consistency?

I agree! It’s all about flavors! Much better if browned! It also seals the meat so its juicier!!

Im going to make this todayyyyy. it looks good and i have everything! 😀
thank you for recpie. oh ya and i made ur orange chicken again it was like my 8th time IT WAS SO GOOOOOOOOOD. WE LIKE ur repies . THANK YOU

Could I use chili beans instead of kidney beans?

You can certainly try substituting chili beans, although it may bring in additional/unwanted flavors to the dish. As always, please use your best judgment for substitutions.

Yum! I made this tonight and it tastes great! I added a couple different bean varieties. I love how the beef stew meat gives it a bit more heartiness! 🙂

I don’t have a Dutch oven, will a stainless steel pot work okay?

This looks amazing, I was thinking I would make it ahead of time (on the weekend) so I could just warm it up after work. How long would this last in the refrigerator?

Yes, absolutely. This reheats beautifully.

However, methods for optimal food storage and shelf life should be based on good judgment and what you are personally comfortable with.

Former restaurateur with certification in foodservice sanitation, here. As a RULE OF THUMB — NOT A GUARANTEE OF SAFETY:
Remember 2’s, 40, and 140. The most common bacteria responsible for foodborne illness LOVE temperatures between 40° and 140° Fahrenheit. The little buggers can multiply like crazy in protein-rich environments, so you don’t want to keep your chili in that temperature range for more than 2 hours. Keep an instant-read thermometer handy.
Once you’re done cooking it, you can cool it on the stove, but once it gets down under 150° (to be on the safe side), get it into the fridge to cool it off from there as quickly as possible. (It’s actually GOOD to cool it outside the fridge for awhile, so you don’t put something hot into the fridge, where it might warm other food and start spoilage.) Tip: add ice cubes to the chili to speed the cooling. You can always cook off the extra water when you reheat it. (Some will cook off whether you want it to or not. 😉 )
Here’s a good time to check your fridge temperature. (If you don’t have a thermometer in your fridge, get one and leave it there — and check it regularly.) Given what bacteria like, you want to keep your fridge under 40° at ALL TIMES. (I keep mine around 33° – 34° — just above freezing.) Another tip: Keep your fridge as FULL as possible. This lessens the amount of air exchanged each time you open the door, allowing it to cool off faster when you close it. (Bonus: this saves electricity, too.) Don’t want or need a lot of food in your fridge? Keep some CLEAN, empty, capped containers in there. (Milk jugs, ice cream tubs, 2-liter bottles… use your imagination.
Oh — and as for the other “2,” two days is a pretty safe time to keep something in the fridge (as long as it was fresh when you put it in there). Depending on the level of preservatives (salt, citric acid, vinegar…) present and the fridge temperature, it can keep considerably longer — and possibly shorter if all prudent sanitation practices haven’t been followed. No matter HOW little time you’ve had something in there, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to pay attention to the look, smell, and texture (slimy. ) of something before eating it or serving it to others.
To your good health…

I had a 6 lb, 6 oz can of whole tomatoes on the shelf and about 4 lbs of stew meat in the freezer I wanted to use for a big batch of chili. I found this recipe and decided to follow it as closely as possible with what I had on hand. Besides the difference in tomato products, I had only some mild yellow onions and used dry beans, but otherwise stuck to the ingredients listed and followed the ratios and cooking technique closely.

It’s been simmering for about an hour, now and, even with the changes I made, it tastes really good. I’ve been cooking long enough to know that the changes I made did NOT improve the results. I can hardly wait to try it again, just the way it’s shown. Many people throw a little bit of everything in the pantry into their chili — and a lot of it is unnecessary (and sometimes downright detrimental). I’m a big fan of simplicity; if you use the right ingredients in the right ratios, simple dishes can be simply fantastic. Thank you very much for sharing!

Hi there, can this recipe be used without the beans? Thank you.

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