Slow-Cooked Beef Chili
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As a cookbook author, I spend many of my days developing recipes, sitting in front of a computer, and filming kitchen videos. So getting outside on a powder day is both restorative and invigorating. And although I love a fancy après-ski with champagne and cheese fondue, most of the time what I want is something warming and protein rich to satisfy my appetite and help my muscles recover. Solution: a hearty, slow-cooked beef chili that’s made to be devoured as soon as you walk through the cabin door.
This flavorful recipe trades ground meat for cubed beef or bison and grocery-store blends for a make-it-yourself spice mix full of sweet and smoky paprika, cumin, garlic and onion powder, and oregano. Make sure the spices you use are fresh—I like Burlap and Barrel. If you’re using whole spices, toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until they’re fragrant, but don’t allow them to burn. Let cool, then transfer to a spice grinder.
If you’re trying to catch first chair and worry you’ll be rushed to get out the door, cut down on morning prep by browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables the night before and storing them in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Cooking oil
- 2 pounds beef or bison chuck or other stew meat, cubed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15 ounces.) cans kidney beans
- 1 (28 ounces) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup beef stock or water
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 ½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 4 Tbsp. homemade chili powder (recipe follows)
Homemade chili powder
- 4 tsp. ground red chiles from mild, sweet pasilla flakes or sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ground oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
1.In a small bowl, prepare the chili powder blend by combining all ingredients. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat and add the meat. Use a wooden spoon to break up large pieces and stir occasionally. Cook until the fat is rendered and the meat is browned. Transfer to a slow cooker and drain all but one tablespoon of the fat.
2.In the same pan, sauté the onion and bell pepper in the reserved fat until soft, stirring occasionally, about five to seven minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, an additional minute. Transfer to the slow cooker.
3.Add the kidney beans and tomatoes, including their liquid, along with the beef stock, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and chili powder blend. Cook over low heat for six hours.
4.When you’re ready to eat, add salt to taste. Serve with shredded cheese, diced onion, sour cream, parsley, avocados, crackers, or corn chips.