This hearty steak chili is loaded with meaty bites of beef swimming in a boldly seasoned sauce, and simmered to luxurious perfection!
Whether you are looking for a new comforting family dinner idea for the winter months, or simply a chunky chili to round out your game day spread, this steak chili recipe is a real crowd-pleaser! The secret ingredient is using thick chunks of tender steak to create a rich and satisfying texture that will have your taste buds screaming for more!
What is it?
So what is the difference between a classic chili and a steak chili? Traditional chili is made with coarsely ground beef, whereas steak chili uses meaty hunks of bite-sized tender steak. I use the word "tender" fairly loosely because you can use a tougher cut of steak for this chili and let it simmer to tender perfection during the long cooking time.
This steak chili recipe is loaded with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and beans in an aggressively seasoned sauce using my homemade chili seasoning recipe, then slowly simmered until thick and saucy.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Beef steak - I think round steak is the best steak to use for chili. It is lean like a sirloin steak, but costs a few dollars per pound less! Round steak is tougher than sirloin. However, that is a needless concern because the chili simmers long enough to transform any stew meat into the most tender bite of steak you have ever put in your mouth! As an honorable mention, a chuck steak (or chuck roast) is great too for making chili with steak (particularly shredded beef chili), but it can have some uneven fattiness.
- Cooking oil - Olive oil and canola oil are my preferred cooking oils.
- Yellow onions - A sweet onion is a great substitute. You can use a red onion if you desire a stronger onion flavor.
- Jalapeno peppers - You can use serrano peppers for more heat, or poblano peppers for less heat.
- Green bell pepper - Red or yellow bell peppers can be substituted for added sweetness.
- Garlic cloves
- Low-sodium beef broth - You can use regular beef stock or broth, but I prefer low sodium because it gives you more control over the salt content.
- Dark beer - I recommend a stout or another malty beer. If you wish to avoid using alcohol, use beef stock instead.
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Canned chili beans - You can make chili with or without chili beans. The thick liquid in the can of beans fortifies the chili sauce, transforming it from a seasoned broth to a silky gravy. So personally, I am a huge fan of chili with beans.
- Tomato Sauce - Ketchup can be substituted.
- Tomato Paste
- Worcestershire sauce - Soy sauce can be substituted.
- All-purpose flour - Masa harina is a great thickener for chili and makes an ideal substitute. You can find it in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store.
- Maple syrup - Brown sugar is also a great option that can be substituted.
- Homemade Chili seasoning - kosher salt, ground cumin, dried oregano, ancho powder (can substitute chili powder), onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper.
How to make it
In my opinion, the best steak chili is made in a Dutch oven. Any large soup pot will work, but Dutch ovens are best for long and slow simmers because it has a wider opening which allows for better evaporation and thickening.
Set your pot over medium-high heat and add a swirl of cooking oil. Once the oil is shimmering add the chunks of steak and give them a good sear on all sides. Then remove the steak with a slotted spoon.
Reduce the heat to medium and place your peppers and onions in the pot, adding additional cooking oil if needed. Saute the peppers and onions until they are tender, then add garlic and cook a few more minutes, until fragrant.
Next, add in all of your chili seasonings and spices, along with the flour and maple syrup. Stir everything well to fully combine. Once combined, pour in the beef broth and use the liquid to deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping any burnt on bits with a wooden spoon. Then add all remaining ingredients and bring the chili to a gentle simmer.
Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 2 ½ hours, or until thickened to your liking. The longer you simmer the thicker it will get. So if you feel it is soupy, just simmer it longer!
Serve each bowl of chili with your favorite chili toppings such as sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, and choped green onions.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Chili
This delicious chili recipe with steak is perfect for making in advance because the flavor is even better the next day as all of the ingredients meld together. Leftover steak chili should be placed in an airtight container and stored in your refrigerator. Any leftovers should be enjoyed within a week.
There are multiple ways to reheat this chili. Microwaving individual servings for approximately two minutes is probably the easiest. However, if you are serving it at a party I like to place it in a slow cooker a couple of hours in advance to reheat and keep warm. Alternatively, you can reheat the entire pot on the stovetop.
- 2 pounds round steak (chopped into ¾" cubes)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
- 2 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
- 1 green pepper (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 ¼ cups low sodium beef broth
- 12 ounces dark beer (such as a porter or stout)
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 30 ounces canned chili beans (do not drain liquid)
- 15 ounces Tomato Sauce
- 6 ounces Tomato Paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons Cumin
- 2 teaspoons Oregano
- 2 teaspoons Ancho powder (can substitute chili powder)
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- In a large pot, or your Dutch Oven, add cooking oil and place over medium high heat. Add steak chunks and sear until exterior forms a brown crust.
- Remove steak and add peppers and onions, along with additional cooking oil if needed. Reduce heat to medium and saute until tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in chili seasonings, flour, and maple syrup, then stir to evenly coat.
- Add beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the Dutch oven, scraping up any stuck on bits of cook and letting them incorporate into the liquid. Then add all remaining ingredients.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 ½ hours, or longer.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped onions.
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This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com on September 11, 2019.
I wish this chili looked like the photo! Mine turned out more like soup. Way too much tomatoes. Diced yes, but skip the tomato sauce and paste, it is not needed. I am thinking I will have to serve over rice. I am hoping it sets up overnight. Also, instead of dumping in the flour with the seasonings, why wouldn't you just dredge the meat in the flour to brown? Cook the flour to add flavor. I wanted to try something new, but I will go back to my old standard.
Fox Valley Foodie
I am sorry you had issues. I have made this recipe multiple times without the issues you are describing. Would you mind clarifying if you made any changes to the recipe or made any ingredient substitutions? If it were simmered for two and a half hours I am surprised you would still describe it as soupy.
This is my first time making this recipe... I love your 2nd best chili recipe, as well as the Brown Sugar Meatloaf, and Italian Sausage Meatballs... to name a few! I had to modify this recipe since I only had 1 pound of steak cubes, I added 1 lb of ground chuck. I cooked it on the stove for about 1 1/2 hours, then put it in the crockpot for about another 4 hours on high. This chili tastes delicious, but it is more like a soup, rather than a thick chili. I went back over the ingredients to make sure I did not make a mistake, and I did not.... so hopefully when I reheat it tomorrow, it will thicken up a bit.
Fox Valley Foodie
I am sorry you had issues, however, the 2 1/2 hour simmer is important not to skip or it will be soupy. Unfortunately, when you put it in the crockpot you stopped it from thickening further because the crockpot lid limits evaporation (which is why we are simmering it on the stovetop uncovered).
Thanks for your recipe! I am excited to try this for New Years'. I am excited about the beer addition, but I wonder if this will make the chili a bit on the sweeter side? If I don't want it as sweet, should I only add half a bottle of beer?
Great recipe! Whole family loved it. This is the chili recipe I'm sticking with from now on.
This sounds delicious! I don’t like chunky tomatoes in my chili. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute?
Fox Valley Foodie
You can omit them entirely or purchase petite diced tomatoes, for smaller chunks. Since the canned tomatoes contains liquid, you may need to add more liquid (such as beef broth) to get the ideal consistency if you omit the tomatoes, but you can play that by ear and adjust as needed.
I wish you had recipe's for 2 people since we ore only 2 people
Chili is one recipe that freezes well. Eat two servings then divide the remaining chili into individual or two servings. Bon appetite!
Fox Valley Foodie
The recipe can be scaled up or down to fit any crowd, otherwise, like Nee mentioned, you can always enjoy the leftovers later.