This chunky beef chilli recipe gets slow-cooked in a Dutch oven or slow cooker (instructions for both) with herbs and spices until the beef is meltingly tender. An amazing cold-weather dinner that is budget and family-friendly, but also really easy and next level using stewing beef.
We're skipping mince and making this chilli con Carne healthier and heartier by using chunks of stewing beef. Kidney beans or mixed beans work well in this recipe too. If you have mince that you want to use try this chilli con Carne, or for something lighter try my chicken chilli. Or we've got a veggie option too... hearty veggie chilli.
I absolutely love chilli. It's the perfect cold-weather recipe (perfect for lunch or dinner) and it pretty much will make your kitchen smell like the warmest and cosiest place ever.
The beauty of chilli is that it pretty much cooks itself. A little browning of this beef and let the rest simmer until that beef melts in your mouth. Serve it with avocado, cheese, and lots of tortilla chips. Also, feel free to serve it over some fluffy white rice too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
There are so many reasons to love this recipe. A few key ones are...
- Budget friendly- using store cupboard ingredients and cheap braising beef.
- This chilli can be simmered on the hob or done in the slow cooker making it very flexible.
- This beef chilli has just the right amount of beans. Not too many.
- Tastes even better the next day making it the perfect "cook once, eat twice" kind of dinner.
- This recipe is also perfect for "freezer filling".
- diced stewing beef
- red onion
- minced garlic
- apple juice *this may seem like a strange ingredient in chilli but the acid in it really helps to balance the flavours and tenderise the beef.
- tomato puree
- tinned tomatoes
- mixed beans- or use kidney beans or black beans. This beef chilli recipe is made to be adapatable.
- beef stock (made with a stock cube)
- bay leaves
- chilli powder
- ground cinnamon- many steak chilli recipes call for some cocoa powder but I sometimes prefer the warmth of cinnamon instead. If you choose to use cocoa powder, simply use the same amount as the cinnamon listed in the recipe card.
- green onions
- coriander (cilantro)
- tortilla chips
- sour cream or Greek yogurt are completely optional and I don't always use them, but they are nice to have sometimes.
Step By Step Instructions
Browning the beef
Step 1 & 2
- Heat some olive or vegetable oil in a Dutch oven for a slow cooker over medium heat.
- Use a paper towel to dry the beef and season with salt. Brown the beef in the hot oil on all sides. This should only take about 5 minutes per side if the beef is dry.
- Add in the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and fragrant. About 5 minutes.
Adding the spices
Step 3 & 4
- Add in all the spices, bay leaves and tomato puree. Cook the tomato puree for about 3 minutes.
- Pour in the beans * if you're using the Aldi mixed beans in Mexican sauce, don't rinse them. If using any other beans, be sure to rinse them well. Add in the tinned tomatoes, beef broth, and apple juice.
- Bring the pot up to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer for about 1- 1 ½ hours, until the beef is tender and easy to shred.
Serving this braising beef chilli
I used a fork to shred some of the beef slightly. That way each bite has chunks of tender beef without having large chunks in a few bites.
Before you scoop this warming chilli into bowls and top with all the accessories, be sure to pick out the bay leaves! You don't want anyone accidentally biting into that and you don't want to leave it in longer as the flavour will get too strong and overpowering.
Top it with all your favourite toppings and dig in!
Chunky beef chilli FAQs
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Easy Thick and Chunky Beef Chili
- 400 g (⅞ lb) diced beef, stewing beef or brisket, dried with kitchen paper and seasoned with salt
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
- 1 (1) red onion, diced *reserve 2 tablespoons for serving
- 6 cloves (6 cloves) garlic, minced *see notes
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) tomato puree
- ½ tablespoon (½ tablespoon) chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) paprika
- 2 teaspoons (2 teaspoons) cumin
- ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) cinnamon
- 1 395 g (14 oz) tin taco mixed beans in tomato sauce
- 1 400 g (2 ½ cups) tin chunky chopped tomatoes
- 175 ml (6 floz) apple juice
- 300 ml (1 ⅕ cups) beef broth made with a beef stock cube
- 1 (1) bay leaf
For serving (all optional extras)
- shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (1) avocado, sliced
- 1 (1) green jalapeno, sliced
- 1 (1) bunch coriander, chopped
- tortilla chips
- sour cream or Greek yoghurt
- white rice
- In a large Dutch oven for medium heat add the oil and heat until it shimmers, about 3 minutes. Once the oil is hot, add the beef to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the pan the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Another 2 minutes.
- Mix the cumin, chilli powder, cinnamon and paprika and add to the pan. Spoon in the tomato puree and the bay leaf cook for a further 2 minutes to coat the beef in the paste and spices.
- Pour in the beans, tomatoes, apple juice and beef stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Continue to simmer for about 3- 4 hours until the beef is tender.
- Serve with all the toppings and with rice if you like.