Emeril's Chuck Wagon Chili

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 45 min
  • Yield: about 2 1/2 quarts
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 bay leaf

3 cups chopped yellow onions

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed, with juices

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup beef broth

2 teaspoons salt

1-ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons masa harina

Grated Cheddar, for garnish

Finely chopped green onions, for garnish

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper and bay leaf and cook until meat is well-browned. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beers and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, salt, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until thickened and meat is very tender, 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim off any fat that rises to the top of the chili. Sprinkle soup with masa harina and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve with the cheese, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.
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