Saturday Cowboy Chili (Chili con Carne)

I call this Saturday Cowboy Chili because I usually start this in the morning and let it cook for most of the day to tenderize the meat. After all, this is chili con carne, meaning chili with meat. I always believe if you take the time to make something good, make a big batch and freeze some for another time. In this recipe I use chipolte chiles in adobo sauce because it adds a nice smokey flavor along with some nice heat. This recipe makes about 1 gallon. Serves 8 to 10.


  • 2 lbs lean round steak (or flank steak), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef (chili grind if you can get it)
  • 5 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 14 oz beef broth
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (12 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or to taste
  • 8 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp yellow cornmeal or masa flour
  • 2 -15oz. cans small red kidney beans or pinto beans
  • 8 oz of pilsner beer (to add liquid when needed)
  • Garnish
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Finely chopped raw onions
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced fresh Jalepeno peppers


  • Large heavy pot
  • Wooden spoon


  1. Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, cook until soft and golden.
  2. Add meat in small batches, turning and searing constantly until meat starts to brown.
  3. Add and stir well, garlic, beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and chipoltes. Stir until blended.
  4. Stir in chili powder and remaining seasonings.
  5. Cover. Cook at low heat for 3-4 hours.
  6. Add beans, stir and heat through.
  7. Serve with garnish of Monterey Jack cheese, chopped raw onions, dallop of sour cream and fresh jalepenos.

What you should know

If you like yours a little more spicy, add 1 tsp crushed red peppers or hot sauce to taste.

Re: Saturday Cowboy Chili (Chili con Carne)

This recipe looks great. I’m going to try it this weekend. I’ve heard from a number of sources that their secret ingredient is chocolate. Do you recommend using a chunk of chocolate with this recipe?

Re: Saturday Cowboy Chili (Chili con Carne)

This is chili not molé.

Re: Saturday Cowboy Chili (Chili con Carne)