Easy Chili

Mar 04, 2013 by Visual Recipes | 0 Comments| Share it:   

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  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: 30 mins. - 1 hr.
  • Serves: 6

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This is a quick and easy chili recipe that you can make in under an hour as long as you own a pressure cooker. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, you can use a dutch oven instead. It will just take longer. To save time cutting vegetables, I used a jar of organic salsa. However, if you are not short on time, feel free to make your own salsa from scratch and use that.

This chili is quite hearty. If your not fond of a thick and hearty chili then you can easily add some chicken or beef broth to thin it out. You can mop up the added liquid with some cornbread.

Once you learn how to make chili you can start playing with the ingredient amounts to alter them to your tastes. For a spicy chili you can bump up the amount of chili powder, and chipotle peppers, or add some minced habanero (wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes or nose) for intense heat. You can also experiment with adding other ingredients commonly found in award winning chili recipes like cinnamon, coffee, or dark chocolate.


  • 2 lbs beef - pre-cut stew meat or cube it yourself.
  • 1 lb pork - I used chorizo. I'd also suggest cubed tenderloin.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 handfulls tortilla chips - find a brand with no salt added. I used Xochitl.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 chipotle peppers - from a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped (add more if you like it spicy).
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 16 oz jar of salsa - your favorite salsa. I used Green Mountain Gringo brand.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 12 oz bottle of beer - I used Young's Double Chocolate Stout. An ale would work fine though.
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Step 1

Place the beef and pork (unless you are using chorizo) into a large sized bowl and toss with oil and salt.

Step 2

Add the ground cumin and chili powder to a pan on medium high heat and toast for a few minutes. This will help to intensify their flavors.

Step 3

Skip to step 6 if your are not using chorizo. If you are using chorizo instead of cubed pork loin, remove the casings from the chorizo. Cook the chorizo in a frying pan (I used a pressure cooker pot, but it was harder to remove all the grease afterwards so use a frying pan) on medium-high heat stirring the chorizo and breaking it up until the chorizo is crispy and the orange-colored fat (from the smoked paprika) has been rendered out.

Step 4

Place a few paper towels into a bowl and place a strainer over the bowl. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the chorizo out of the frying pan and into the strainer trying your best to avoid scooping up any grease. Allow the grease from the chorizo to drain into the bowl. Just leave it there in the strainer for the time being.

The photo to the left shows quite a bit of grease that was still in the pot after most of the chorizo had been removed.

Step 5

Here is a photo of just a small amount (there was much more) of the grease that strained out of the chorizo. You don't want all this in your chili!

Step 6

Now you have a choice to make based on how long you want to wait until your chili is done. The first option is to use a dutch oven if you are willing to heat up your oven and wait 2-2.5 hours. The other option would be to use a pressure cooker. When you use a pressure cooker you drastically reduce the time it takes to break down the meat and infuse flavors. You can have chili ready to eat in as little as 30 minutes. I went with the pressure cooking method.

Either in your dutch oven or in a 6 quart pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, brown the beef and pork (not the chorizo) in 3 separate batches so as to not overcrowd the pan which would steam the meat instead of browning it. Place the browned meat onto a plate while you brown the next batch.

Step 7

Once all the meat has been browned and removed to a plate, you should see that the bottom of the pan has nice crusty brown bits on it. This is called fond and contains quite a bit of flavor.

Step 8

Pour the beer into the pot or dutch oven and scrape up all the brown bits with a large spoon. If you don't want a really hearty chili, add some chicken or beef broth (about 8 ounces) if you have some on hand.

Step 9

Add the chili powder, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, salsa, and cumin. Stir well.

Step 10

Add the browned beef and pork. If you used chorizo, add it in as all the fat should now have strained off.

Step 11

Add the tortilla chips. If you don't have tortilla chips you could use 2 tablespoons of cornmeal or masa harina. This will help thicken the chili up a bit.

Step 12

Stir everything together very well.

Step 13

Method for making chili in a dutch oven: With the lid on, place your dutch oven into a 350º Fahrenheit oven for 2-2.5 hours. Stir the chili every 30 minutes.

Method for making chili in a pressure cooker: (This is what is seen in the photo) Attach the lid of the pressure cooker to the pot according to the directions that came with the pressure cooker. Make sure it's locked. The burner should still be on medium-high at this point. Once the steam indicator reaches near it's maximum indicated level according to the manual (or you hear steam hissing out), reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Leave it to pressure cook for 25 minutes. Once 25 minutes has passed turn on the steam release lever and wait for all the steam to dissipate before trying to unlock.

Step 14

If you see any fat that has risen to the top, feel free to use a spoon to scoop it out to be discarded. You can then stir the chili and serve.

Serve the chili in a bowl with your choice of toppings. Common chili toppings include shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced onions, and cilantro. I served this chili with sour cream, cilantro, and a slice of homemade cornbread.

Now that you have learned how to make easy chili, please be sure to view these other chili recipes.

Recipes Similar to Easy Chili

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