Steak Chili

Guest Post by Roger

I love chili.  I love hot chili.  I have had so many types of chili over the years, that I thought I had tried them all.  When Fran discovered this award-winning steak chili, I read it with great interest.  From the first read, I knew it would be different, and good.

This recipe is a modification of the very fine recipe from Jeremy Vohwinkle.  I have made it several times, adding more beans and veggies to achieve a good balance between protein and carbohydrates.  I also realized that the better the cut of beef, the better the chili.  A 12-ounce bowl along with a 1.5” piece of corn bread gives about 330 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 30 grams of carbs.

Each time that I made this chili, I tried to ramp up the heat; hoping to sneak it by Fran, or train her for hot chili.  The last time, I minced two jalapeños, seeds and all, and put in extra ground chili and cayenne peppers.  At that point it was “beer” hot and Fran was not happy.  “I hope that you enjoy this chili, because you’re eating it all!”

OK.  OK.  I have toned it down and that is the recipe presented here—but, for all you heat freaks who get off on the Scoville scale of pepper hotness, you know what to do.

Steak Chili

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Ingredient List (Family-sized)

  • 2 x 28-oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • approx. 45 oz. of chili beans, hot and/or mild
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 sweet onion (2 cups chopped)
  • 1-lb. roll of Bob Evans zesty hot sausage
  • 2 lbs. beef tenderloin (original recipe called for round steak)
  • 3-5 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. tabasco sauce
  • 2-3 tbl. liquid smoke
  • 3 tbl. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbl. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin

For a large group, use 3 lbs. beef, double the peppers, onions, and garlic, add another 15-oz. can of beans and 28-oz. can of tomatoes, and add more chili powder, leaving the other spices at present levels.  This will tax your 8-quart pot!

Preparing the Mix

After removing any excess fat, cut the steak into roughly 1/2”cubes.  In a very large mixing bowl, break up the Bob Evans sausage with a spatula.  Add 3 tbl. Worcestershire sauce and 2 tbl. of liquid smoke to blend and break up the sausage. Add the steak and mix together.

Health tip:  Fry up the Bob Evans sausage and pour out the fat before adding to the mix.

Cut up the peppers and onions.  This can be done by hand or by pulsing in a food processor, leaving the peppers and onions somewhat coarse.  Mince the garlic in the processor.

Mix the garlic, peppers, and onions with the steak.  Stir in kosher salt and pepper to the mix.  Add more Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke, as desired, to get the right consistency.  The mix should be workable but not mushy.

Note:  If you like your chili super spicy hot, feel free to add the pepper of your choice at this time.  Occasionally, I put in a can of green chili peppers.

Cover and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours – overnight is preferable.

Cooking the Mix

I use a large fry pan on medium high and fry the mix in four equally portioned batches. You cannot fry it all at once.  While these batches are frying, I put my tomatoes and beans in a large (8 qt.) pot and bring to temp over medium heat, stirring frequently.  When the frying steak mix appears as below, reduce the liquid by about 50%, then dump directly into the large pot.  It is important to keep this liquid because it is loaded with flavor.  Follow this procedure with all four batches of steak mix.

After all four batches are added to the pot and the pot is at temp, add the cayenne, coriander, cumin and chili powder, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2-4 hours (the longer the better).


While the chili is cooking, taste test and add more spices as deemed necessary.  Since I make this chili for my entire family, I usually leave the chili as directed and put the chili powder and cayenne on the table for doctoring of individual servings.


As an accompaniment, I prefer corn bread.  I also put out shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, and chopped cilantro, although I prefer my chili as is (and with more horsepower).

Source: Adapted from an online recipe Fran found while researching steak chili

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