Chunky Beef Chili

chunky beef chili
Photo: Con Poulos
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins

Using sirloin and sausage makes this chili especially hearty. Garnish with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, and thinly sliced red onion, as desired.


  • 2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), diced

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

  • 1 whole cinnamon stick

  • 3 dried bay leaves

  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • Toppings, such as shredded Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeno chiles, sliced red onion, sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, or hot sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat a Dutch oven (or a heavy 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid) over high heat until a drop of water sizzles upon contact. In three batches, cook sirloin until no longer pink; remove each batch with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

  2. Add sausage, breaking it up into small pieces; add onion and jalapenos. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage and onion are browned, about 5 minutes.

  3. Return sirloin to pot. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes (with juice), cornmeal, cinnamon, bay leaves, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until sirloin easily breaks apart with a spoon, about 2 hours.

  4. Stir in beans; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon and bay leaves. Serve.

Cook's Notes

Before reheating frozen chili (on the stove, in the microwave, or in a 325-degree oven), thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, or defrost in in the microwave. It will keep in the freezer for up to two months.

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