Bean-and-Beef Chili

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed

3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large onions, chopped

8 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, coarsely crushed with your hands

1 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth

1/3 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee

2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and/or diced avocado, for topping


  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat the beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown in batches, about 4 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add 1/3 cup chili powder, the oregano and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
  3. Return the meat to the pot and stir in the tomatoes with their juices, broth, espresso and pinto beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons chili powder into the chili. Divide among bowls. Top with cheese, sour cream and/or avocado.
  5. Hot:
  6. This base recipe is relatively tame; a last-minute hit of chili powder adds just a touch of heat.
  7. Hotter:
  8. Add 5 crumbled dried arbol chiles to the pot with the tomato paste, then continue as directed.
  9. Hottest:
  10. Add 5 crumbled dried arbol chiles with the tomato paste and continue as directed, omitting the beans. Stir in 1 cup chopped pickled jalapenos before serving.
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