Stephanie Smith’s Chili

"My dad worked for years through the 1980-1990s to develop this recipe. He would note and tweak time and time again until he settled on this recipe which is pretty darn amazing."

Prep Time

20 min

Cook Time

4 hours

Paired With

Main Protein



Ro-Tel Mexican diced tomatoes 2 10-ounce cans, 3 14-ounce cans, 2 Tablespoons, 1 1/2 pounds, 1 1/2 pounds, 1 medium, 3 cloves, 3 Tablespoons, 3 Tablespoons, 1 Tablespoon, 3 Tablespoons, 1 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, 1/2 teaspoon (add more if you want more heat), 1 12-ounce bottle, 1 7-ounce can, 1 medium, 2 30-ounch cans, 4 Tablespoons, 4 Tablespoons
Beef Broth
Vegetable Oil
Lean Ground Chuck
Chuck Steak
Onion, diced
Garlic, diced
Chili Powder
Ancho Chili Powder
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Dry Mustard
Espresso Powder
Ground Red Pepper
IPA Beer
Ortega Diced Green Chilis
Green Bell Pepper, diced
Sun Vista Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
Corn Flour (masa harina)


Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid. Set tomatoes aside. Combine tomato liquid and beef broth to a large Dutch oven. Bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

Add oil to a hot, large sauté pan with ground beef. Stir, breaking up clumps, until browned thoroughly for 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped onion to the meat. Cook onion with meat 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add to broth.

Trim fat from chuck steak and cut into 1/2″ x 1/2″ cubes. Add beef to pan and sear until browned. Drain and add meat to broth.

Deglaze the sauté pan with a little cold water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Transfer these bits to the Dutch oven.

Simmer meat and broth mixture, covered, over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Stir in spices, beer, green chilis, bell pepper and beans. Continue to cook, covered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in reserved tomatoes to Dutch oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove lid and reduce liquid if needed.

Add masa harina, Wondra and 8 tablespoons water to a glass jar with lid and shake vigorously until blended.

Slowly add about 4 tablespoons of the chili broth to the masa harina, stirring to temper. Add about half of the tempered mixture to the chili and stir to combine. Add more if needed to get the thickness desired.

Continue to cook, covered, over low heat for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not allow mixture to boil.)

Serve, mixture should be thick and creamy.