Chunky Chili

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This hearty, comforting chunky chili is made with tender chunks of beef rather than ground beef. Its highlight is a homemade chili powder blend made with cumin, oregano, Hungarian paprika, ancho chili, chipotle chili and roasted garlic.

A cup filled with steaming hot chunky chili and crusty bread in the background.

This post was originally published on Oct. 3, 2014.

How to make chunky chili step by step:

Step 1. Start with a 2.5-pound beef chuck roast and cut it into 1-inch cubes (remove any excess fat as you go along). Next, pat the meat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper.

RECIPE NOTE: I highly recommend you go with a chuck roast (which comes from the shoulder of the animal) and not with a roast from the round (which comes from the leg). Top round roast is cheaper, for sure, but it contains less fat and turns nearly flavorless after a long cooking time. Chuck roast, on the other hand, is not only more tender but is also still full of flavor after 80 minutes of cooking.

Step 2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven and brown the meat on all sides. (If you’re using a small Dutch oven, work on two batches.) Transfer the meat and accumulated juices into a bowl and set aside.

Chunks of raw beef on a baking sheet and browned beef chunks in a Dutch oven.

Step 3. Add 1.5 tablespoons chili powder and 1 diced yellow onion to the Dutch oven and fry for a minute (add more oil if you need to).

Step 4. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook until they are fragrant. Stir in 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 2 cups chicken broth.

Fried diced onion with chili powder and hot broth with tomato, onion and chili spice in a Dutch oven.

Step 5. Add the meat back in, then drain a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes and half a 15-ounce can of corn and add in both. Bring the mix to a boil, then put on the lid, turn down the heat and simmer it for 1 hour.

Step 6. Dice half a green bell pepper and half a red bell pepper, add them in and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Beef chili in a Dutch oven being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Step 7. Serve the chili with sour cream, cheese and crusty bread.

How to make chili powder:

To make the chili powder, add 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon half-sharp Hungarian paprika, 1.5 teaspoons ancho chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated roasted garlic to a mortar and grind with a pestle until you have a homogeneous mix.

RECIPE NOTE: As always, I recommend you get spices from a dedicated spice shop because they are so much higher in quality than anything you can get at a regular grocery store.

Chili powder ingredients in a mortar with a pestle lying next to it.

More delicious hearty soups and stews:

A cup filled with steaming hot chunky chili and crusty bread in the background.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chunky Chili

This hearty, comforting chunky chili is made with tender chunks of beef rather than ground beef. Its highlight is a homemade chili powder blend made with cumin, oregano, Hungarian paprika, ancho chili, chipotle chili and roasted garlic.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chunky chili
Servings: 4
Calories: 885kcal

Ingredients:

For the chili powder:*

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon half-sharp Hungarian paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated roasted garlic

For the chili:

  • 1 chuck roast** (about 2.5 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, 14 ounces, drained
  • half a 15-ounce can corn, drained
  • half a green bell pepper, diced
  • half a red bell pepper, diced

To serve:

  • sour cream, optional
  • grated cheese, optional
  • crusty bread, optional

Instructions:

For the chili powder:

  • Put all ingredients together in a mortar and grind with a pestle until you have a homogeneous spice blend.

For the chili:

  • Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes, trimming off excess fat as you go.
  • Pat the meat dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven and brown the meat on all sides. Do this step in batches (adding more oil as needed) so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Sear the meat well but watch out not to burn it.
  • Transfer the meat and accumulated juices into a bowl and set aside.
  • Add chili powder and onion and fry for a minute (add more oil if you need to).
  • Add garlic and fry until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and chicken broth.
  • Stir well, then add the meat back in, then add the diced tomatoes and the corn.
  • Bring to a boil, then put on the lid, turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add the diced bell pepper and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve with sour cream, cheese and crusty bread.

Notes:

*To ensure that you get high-quality and fresh spices I recommend to get them from a dedicated spice shop rather than a regular grocery store.
**I strongly recommend a chuck roast for this recipe and not a roast from the round. For this recipe, a chuck roast will be more tender and flavorful than other cuts of beef.

Nutrition

Calories: 885kcal | Carbohydrates: 67.6g | Protein: 99.9g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8.2g | Cholesterol: 253mg | Sodium: 711mg | Potassium: 2274mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 14.7g | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 62mg

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A cup filled with steaming hot chunky chili and crusty bread in the background.

2 comments

  1. Doc Chuck says:

    As a native Texan, you had my attention UNTIL you got to the corn part. By the way, that is a great photo (except for the corn) :>)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hahaha! Yeah, I knew my anything-goes attitude might ruffle some feathers eventually…just think of it as a spicy beef stew instead of a chili. :) And thanks for the compliment about the photo, I appreciate it!

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