This No Bean Steak Chili is meant for meat lovers! It features steak and spices and that's about it! No beans and no tomatoes! Just tender chunks of spicy meat. It will become your favorite chili recipe for a cold day!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Meat Lovers Chili - This chili is packed with fall-apart tender chunks of meat. Every single bite is filled with the flavor of spicy beef. It is a hearty chili to get you through the winter months!
- No Beans - Throughout the US it is common to find beans in chili. But Texans don't like anything distracting from their tasty beef! This recipe is "Texas red" style, meaning it is just beef flavored with cumin, chili powder, and other spices. Though if you prefer beans in your chili, feel free to add a can of black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans!
- No Tomatoes - There is no tomato sauce or tomato paste in this recipe, so it fits the bill if you are looking for a no-tomato chili!
- Spicy - I love a good spicy soup! Even my Chicken Noodle Soup is spicy! This spicy steak chili has three types of chili powder plus hot sauce to create rich flavor with layers of heat!
Chuck Roast - Instead of ground beef, this recipe uses a well-marbled chuck roast gives the chili such great flavor! And because it is cooked slowly for several hours you end up with incredibly tender steak pieces. Sirloin steak can also be used in place of chuck roast.
Chili Powder - There are 3 types of chili powder in this recipe, which builds depth of flavor. Dark chili powder is made of ground chilis that typically have a medium heat and a complex flavor. Regular chili powder can be used instead of dark if that is what you have on hand. The chipotle powder adds smokiness, and cayenne pepper kicks up the spice level.
Chicken Broth - Broth provides the liquid to turn the meat and spices into chili. Using chicken broth adds complexity to the chili flavor, though beef broth can also be used.
Fish Sauce - The addition of fish sauce adds a savory umami flavor. You can substitute an equal amount of Worcestershire or soy sauce if you prefer. You can also get a different umami flavor by adding 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Every pot of chili needs some acidity to balance out the flavors, and that's exactly what apple cider vinegar accomplishes! Red wine vinegar or lemon juice and also be used.
Masa Harina - Chili is certainly delicious without using masa, but if you want a really great bowl then this is a must-add! Masa Harina thickens the broth and adds body to the soup. It also adds a subtle corn flavor that really makes this taste like a classic southern homemade chili!
Why Does Texas Chili Have No Beans?
There is a saying in Texas, “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans.” And that's an official rule according to the International Chili Society. In the ICS competitions, they do not allow any filler, including beans, pasta, or hominy.
Texas chili is supposed to be all about the meat and chili peppers with no other flavors that would dominate the bowl. According to former ICS president, Carol Hancock, there is no consensus on how this rule originated, "It's just the way it is."
For more soup ideas, take a look at these soup recipes!
- Sear Steaks
Searing adds delicious flavor but it can also dry out the meat. To achieve both flavorful and juicy meat sear chuck steaks before they have been cut into cubes. The incredible seared flavor gets absorbed by all of the meat as it simmers.
Once the seared steaks have cooled enough to handle, cut them into 1-2-inch cubes.
- Saute Onions & Spices
While you are cutting the steaks, go ahead and turn your pan down to medium heat and saute the onions. This takes about 4 minutes or so until they are soft.
Then add your garlic and spices and cook them until they are fragrant.
- Add Chicken Broth
Put the steak cubes back into the pan and top with chicken broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for several hours.
Place a lid on your pan as the chili simmers, but leave it a little offset so that the steam can escape.
- Finish the Flavors
Once the meat is tender it is time to add in the final ingredients that round out the flavors of the chili.
Stir in the fish sauce, masa harina, and apple cider vinegar. If you want a brothier chili then add some additional chicken broth.
Finally, taste the chili and add hot sauce to achieve your desired heat level.
For a sweeter dish, you can also stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar.
How to Top Chili
There are endless ways to top your chili. I love mine with some shredded cheddar cheese and a pile of Fritos. But if you are making a chili bar or want some extra flavors and textures, try some of these topping ideas!
- Sour cream
- Queso fresco
- Green onions
- White onions
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla chips
- Saltine crackers
If you have the time then it is best to make this chili a day ahead. The flavors meld as the chili sits so it is delicious served the next day. Just reheat when you are ready to serve.
Your chili should be stored in an airtight container. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in the freezer for 4 months. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Reheat your chili on the stovetop over medium heat. Add additional broth, if needed. Chili can also be reheated in the microwave or in a 300°F (150°C) oven. It is ready when the meat has reached 165°F (74°C).
Once the broth is added to the Dutch oven, place the lid slightly ajar and put the pan into a 250°F (130°C) oven for 2 ½-3 hours.
Yes, after searing the meat on the stove add the meat, onions, spices, and broth into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.
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Steak Chili (No Beans)Recipe by:
- 4 pounds beef chuck
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup diced)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced (1 ½ tablespoons minced or 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons dark chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth (plus additional broth, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons masa harina (optional)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- hot sauce to taste
- Trim the chuck roast of the excess fat and cut into 2-inch thick steaks and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat until it starts to smoke. Add steaks in a single layer and sear until well browned, 5-6 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until the second side is dark brown. Transfer the seared steaks to a cutting board, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil, and repeat with additional steaks until all of the steaks are browned. Once the steaks have cooled enough to handle them, cut them into 1-2 inch chunks.
- Reduce to medium heat and add the onions to the Dutch oven, cooking until the onions are soft (about 4 minutes). Add the spices and garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Return the steak cubes to the pan and top with chicken broth. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat. Place a lid slightly ajar on the pan, leaving room for steam to escape, and simmer for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender.
- Stir in the fish sauce, masa harina (if using), and apple cider vinegar. If a brothier chili is desired, add additional chicken broth. Taste the chili and add hot sauce to achieve your desired heat level.
Southern Homemade Steak Chili is adapted from Serious Eats Texas Chile Con Carne.