Red Beef Chili

Bobby Flay brings his signature heat to this chili with layers of rich, spicy flavors. The onions and chiles are sauteed in reduced beer[ and chocolate, and maple syrup is stirred in at the end for sweetness. A dollop of toasted cumin crema on top adds a cool, creamy finish to this red-hot dish.]

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
30 min
2 hr

6 servings

  • 7 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds bottom round beef, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • One 12-ounce bottle dark beer
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon seeded and chopped habanero
  • 1 Thai bird chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 poblano, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon cascabel chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
  • 1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexican chile powder
  • 5 cups homemade chicken stock, canned low-sodium broth or water
  • One 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and pureed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or more as needed
  • Toasted Cumin Crema, recipe follows
  • Toasted Cumin Crema:
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or creme fraeche
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and add one-third of the meat to the pan and saute until browned on all sides. Repeat with the oil and meat, draining any excess liquid from the pan between the batches. Return the meat to the pan, sprinkle with the cumin and stir well. Deglaze the pan with the beer and bring to a boil. Cook until the beer is almost completely reduced. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan and then add the onions and cook on medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the habanero, Thai bird, jalapeno and poblano peppers and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ancho chile pepper, cascabel chile powder, chipotle pepper puree, pasilla chile powder and New Mexican chile powder, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree with an immersion blender. Add the beef back to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the chili is thick and the beef is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. If the chili has too much liquid, continue to cook uncovered to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add in the chocolate and maple syrup and stir until the chocolate is melted and combined and adjust seasonings. Serve with Toasted Cumin Crema.

Place the cumin in a small saute pan over medium heat. Toast until lightly golden brown. Place in a small bowl. Stir in the crema and season with salt and pepper. Place in a squeeze bottle for serving.

From Food Network Kitchens; after further testing and to ensure the best results this recipe has been altered from what was in the actual episode.

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Pairs Well With
Dark Beer

Toasty, bracing beer

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4.7 68
Wow!! This is probably the best chili I've ever had. Great spice level with lots of complexity and depth in flavor. Highly recommend! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this recipe with whatever chile available at the time, and it turns out great every time (I would not omit the chipotle pepper whether it's puree or powder as it gives the smoky flavor). This is my go to recipe :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this recipe at a Chili Cook-Off (I had to leave out a few of the peppers, because I knew a few people couldn't handle them and I used steak rather than beef because I knew my many of my competitors were doing beef...I wanted some variety to get some edge) and I was the first woman to place Second (to place PERIOD) in a Competition that had always been ruled by the guys. :) This chili is fantastic! Thanks, Bobby! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe! I left out the habanero and Thai chili, but used a whole jalapeno and cut the beef to 3 lbs. Added red and black beans at the half-way cooking point. Like others have recommended, I doubled down on the chocolate in my second batch and it came out perfect to our taste. Plenty hot, but balanced. I realize that I've made a few alterations to the original recipe, but the key is the base layers of chili powders, beer, onions, and cumin remain the same. This is the best chili recipe for depth of flavor and texture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has to be the best chili I have ever had. Period. Complex chili flavor. Not too much heat. Lots of meat and the wonderful taste of onions all come together beautifully. I can't taste the beer but the color of the beef is just gorgeous after browning it. This is my second time making it and I did some modifications just for fun: I added a little extra syrup just, but I like my chili a little on the sweet side to balance the heat. I also add about 10 garlic cloves and did not use a habanero pepper, Instead added some smoked paprica. I found some roasts on sale, but they were not very marbled and I really wanted my chili to fall apart. So I cooked it like the recipe states, then stuck it in the fridge overnight. The next morning (today) I pulled it out and cooked it on Low for about another 1.5 hours and the meat just fell apart. Flavors are just perfect and I'm so glad I made a double batch so I can have leftovers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Pretty spicy but good. I personally think twice the chocolate and twice the maple syryup makes it more balanced. Not sure if it was me or the recipe, but meat seems a little over done. I would defiantly make this again, but I might adjust the meat cooking time. Just because, I think this would be great over quinoa as an added ingredient. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is the most amazing Chili ever attempted. BOBBY FLAY IS THE MAN AND WILL ALWAYS BE! Ok, that being said : I decided to make these few alterations : Use an entire bar of Chocolate that is at LEAST 70% Cocoa, with no added sugar. It's the pure cocoa that will add the amazing depth to this dish. Use half the bar during the reduction of the beer with the simmering beef, and WAIT to add the other half until the last hour of cooking. I also added a cup of Sherry (red wine would work too, mushrooms, and 1 cup of kale/chard. It adds a real earthiness to the dish. THANK YOU SO MUCH BOBBY FLAY FOR THE INSPIRATION! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Chocolate, chili and dark beer - what's not to love about this recipe. I liked using all the different chilies as each one has a different flavor. I also like chili made with chunks of beef rather than ground meat. I also made this a day ahead to all the beef to soak up all the spices. Splendid recipe, but not for those with timid palates. item not reviewed by moderator and published
GREAT! Did make modifications. Used 1 pound ground beef (halved recipe, no peppers, but did use one can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies and two diced chipotles in adobo. Added 1 Tablespoon of ancho chili powder, one teaspoon of regular; 1/2 tablespoon of Montreal Steak seasoning (has garlic on my ground beef and 1/2 red onion. Used one square of bakers semi-sweet chocolate. Used Agave syrup instead of maple, and used IPA instead of dark beer. Served in bread bowls -- my family loved it! My husband thinks the chocolate made the difference. Balanced with plenty of heat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my new favorite chili recipe. I cook down the liquids so it is not watered down and when complete you can taste every ingredient. Fantastic, even when I made it with ground turkey. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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