Steak Chili to Combat the January Freeze

This steakhouse beef chili recipe is designed to warm you up in the middle of winter. It’s hearty and thick, and the chili works wonderfully with all your favorite toppings.

It’s January. It’s cold. Something about the cold, gray days this month always makes me crave soup, but instead of soup, I made chili. The chili of my childhood was actually more like soup. It has a broth, and rather than a tomato sauce, it has tomato chunks. Additionally, like most things in my childhood, it contained a sizable amount of ground beef.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy or appreciate ground beef or broth-based soups, because I do. However, I don’t necessarily appreciate them as a bowl of chili for one simple reason: They don’t stand up to chili toppings and other chili uses.

I want chili to sit under a bed of melted cheese and a perfect dollop of sour cream. I should be able to scoop it atop a mound of french fries, and it should grace the natural-cased wieners along with coleslaw in the summer. Thick and hearty, chili is not soup. It is chili.

This chili starts with beans, steak (leftover tenderloin trimmings in this case), onions, tomatoes and peppers. The number of peppers should correlate to your tolerance for spice.

Start by heating a bit of olive oil in a pan and browning your steak.

You’re just looking for a good sear on the outside to add some flavor.

Then toss in your vegetables and garlic.

And along with the vegetables, you should add in your spices.

I like the curry-method of sautéing the spices while the onions and tomatoes are cooking down. I feel it gives a deeper flavor to the chili.

Add in your tomatoes and a can of diced green chilies. I like the flavor that canned chilies adds, but it can easily be left out if you prefer. Let this simmer for 30 minutes.

Last in the pot are the beans. Once they’re good and hot, you’re ready to serve…or store. Chili stores well and makes excellent lunches.

And a hearty chili one doth have, perfect for topping with all your favorites. Mine happen to be shredded asadero cheese, sour cream, green onions and a bit of cilantro.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds steak of your choice (we used tenderloin trimmings), cut into 1″ pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2-4 jalapeños, diced
4 tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
30 ounces (or so) crushed tomatoes
1 3-ounce can green chilies
3 cups cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked navy beans

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add in the steak pieces and sear. Toss in the garlic, onion, tomatoes and jalapeños, as well as the chili powder, cumin, coriander and cayenne. Sauté for 5 minutes, and then add in the crushed tomatoes and green chilies.

Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in pinto and navy beans and cook until heated through. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Copyright © Food for My Family.

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  1. this chili sounds wonderful. Love the new look too!

  2. You are killing me….it’s 10 a.m. and now I’m jonsing for some chili. THIS chili. Yum.

  3. This looks so good and a nice change from the usual chili…plus, beautiful photos Shaina!

  4. This looks so good, the pics are beautiful and it sounds like the perfect comfort for Winter.

  5. Oh my! Tenderloin in chili would be incredible. Your pictures are beautiful!

  6. We love Chili in our household, I make it probably 2-3 times a month. I even brought 3 large bottles of chili powder with me to Italy since its a little hard to find here.

    This looks fantastic – we will have to try it soon 🙂

  7. YUM! This looks amazing! Lame question – what do you mean by “tenderloin trimmings”? Is this something you can order from the butcher?

    • When you buy a whole, untrimmed beef tenderloin the ends come to points, and there is a small side muscle that gets cut off, but they are great pieces of meat, just not all uniform. They lend themselves perfectly to things like this chili where you’re going to dice it up anyway.

  8. Oh, yum. Chili on a cold day is perfect. Your recipe looks really interesting. I’m pretty sure the husband would LOVE this. 🙂

  9. Sounds perfect for a cold night!

  10. Beautiful steak chili – nice to have a change from ground meats. xo

  11. ohhh….now see, Dom loves meat in his chili but I so not however, I am not a huge gound meat fan BUT chunks of steak is an different story. Thank You for sharing

  12. Seriously amazing girl… I am always so impressed with you!!

  13. I love that white bowl! Great meal for a cold night!

  14. This looks great and hearty!

  15. I’m posting chili tomorrow. 😛 But now want a great big bowl of your version!

  16. Steak? Chili?

    I’m in.

    Add a bowl of Fritos, some shredded cheddar and some sour cream and I’m a happy girl!!

    This looks AMAZING!!

  17. Steak? Steak chili? uhm yes, i’ll have what you’re having!! and i must also comment on that FAB-YOU-LESS BOWL – LOVE!!!

  18. i might have to change my menu plan and add chili one of these nights. it sounds so good and your photography is beautiful!!

    i awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award!! head over to to check it out!

  19. I’ve never tried chili with steak in it. Looks delicious!

  20. The photography is so important, isn’t it? You have captured me and held me prisoner here! There is no doubt about it. That beautiful, lush bowl of hearty STEAK chili is absolutely perfect for this time of year. Brilliant idea! I will be making this very very soon!
    I am slowly pulling myself away now…….



  21. Well this just looks delicious! Perfect for all this snowy weather right now!

  22. Yummy, Shaina, and what a cool bowl!

  23. Steak is one of my all time favorite foods, so this is definitely a winning soup recipe in my mind, even before I try it!

    I’d like to invite you to participate in Foodie Friday. And thanks again for this delicious sounding recipe!

  24. easy recipes for dinner says:

    Definitely a good chili recipe. I’m not much for ground beef and this suits me exactly. Prefer more spice in mine but that’s just me of course.

  25. ?ery energet?? post, I loved that a lot. Will there
    be a part 2?

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