Soup of the Day: Double Beef Chili

Oh, friends, you are in for a treat. While this chili recipe seems like it has a gerbillion ingredients, and it does have to simmer for a long time, it is worth it. Because I only make this recipe a couple times per year, it makes it seem all the more special. Do you like beef? Do you like (optional) heat? Get in.

Now, when I look at food sites, I admit to scrolling past all the personal story and commentary behind the recipe, and I just get to the recipe itself. So all I will tell you is that my recipe is based off of this AllRecipes offering, and I suggest that you do not alter the ingredients much. Everything is there for a (tasty, tasty) reason.

Beed and onions
I used more like 1 3/4 onions because I had part of a large onion already hanging around in the fridge. Pretend like you see the garlic sitting there too because I forgot to add it to the photo.


  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ¾ lb. steak, cubed (your choice — I bought mock tender steak because it was on sale and relatively lean)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of dark beer
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 12 ounces (or 2 six ounce cans) tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can low sodium beef broth
  • Chili ingredients, part 2
    My pile of bulk bin spices, brown sugar, broth, tomato paste, peppers, and cocoa powder.

    ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 lb. dried red kidney beans, previously soaked overnight and cooked OR 4 (15 ounce) cans of kidney beans
  • 3 jalepeños, finely diced (Anaheim peppers work well, too)

    Beer, Coffee, Tomatoes
    Okay, this beer isn’t all that dark, but it was a good price. Still worked.

I know. I know. I told you it was a lot of ingredients, but it only seems like it because of the pile of spices. I didn’t add the cayenne pepper, but my kids didn’t eat much last time I used it, so I left it out.

The ground chia seeds are optional because they don’t add anything to the taste of the chili, but rather blend in to the sauce. I add them to a lot of soups and stews for the extra nutritional benefits.

Note about the kidney beans: Unless you’ve already cooked the dried kidney beans the day before (it’s quite easy to throw them into a slow cooker), you’re going to have to simmer your chili all day for them to be properly soft. I simmered for around 4 hours, and that didn’t quite do the job, but they were still edible. The leftovers the next day were much better, softness-wise, once they’d had more time to cook. Dried beans are cheaper and sometimes taste better, but if you’d rather spare yourself the trouble, cooking with canned beans is perfectly fine.


Kidney beans
My dried kidney beans, after they were soaked overnight, and then rinsed before using.
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a large pot. Add the ground beef, steak, and onions. When the meat has begun to brown, add the garlic.
  2. When the meat is almost completely browned, add the tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste, and beef broth. Stir to get the tomato paste evenly mixed .
  3. Add the brown sugar and all of your spices.
  4. Stir in your beans and the hot peppers. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer, and let it cook covered for at least 2 hours.

And that’s it! This made enough for three adults and two children to eat for dinner two days in a row, but your mileage may vary.


Double Beef Chili
Can’t forget the cheese.


By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

2 replies on “Soup of the Day: Double Beef Chili”

Yeah, I suppose that is more of a lingering concern in England. Perhaps if you splurged on the organic, ethically-raised stuff?

Or, I suppose, you could add in some pinto beans in there instead of the beef. Or in place of some of the beef?

I bet a good dark German beer would be great in this, though. I’ve often used Guinness stout too.

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