New Jersey Chili

I’ve been making Chili since my first trip to Texas over twenty years ago where I had my first bowl.  I find it to be such a great comfort food in the winter and particularly satisfying after a long day of skiing.  My chili recipe has evolved over the years from initially using ground meat and packaged ingredients to the one I have provided below.  I’m not sure if it’s authentic Texas chili or not so I call it my New Jersey chili.


Chili – a stew usually made from beef such as the recipe below.

Chile – peppers such as jalapeno, thai bird, serrano are also called chile peppers. I suppose it’s also the country. 🙂



2 lbs beef cut for stir fry or sirloin steak – cut into small 1 inch cubes
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped

Mise en place

6 cloves garlic finely chopped
5 jalapenos finely chopped (adjust for you own heat preference – I use the seeds too)
1 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
4 – 6 Tbsp Chili powder (NOT chile powder or cayenne)
1 tsp cayenne (adjust to taste)
2 Tbsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp corriander powder
1 Tbsp salt (add more to taste)
2 Cups water
3 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans
2 cans (15 oz) corn
2 Tbsp masa flour or finely ground corn flour


Heat a large dutch oven on high heat.  Sear the meat in batches in a single layer until it is browned on sides. Remove each batch onto a paper towel lined plate.  When all meat is seared, remove all the liquid & fat from the pot. Reheat on medium high and add oil.  Once oil is hot, add the meat back to the pot.  Immediately add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder (4 Tbsp to start), cayenne, cumin powder, corriander powder and salt.  Stir to combine all the

ingredients.  Add 2 cups water and stir.  Bring chili to a boil and then simmer covered for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, taste for seasonings and add more salt and chili powder as desired.  At this point, also add the drained kidney beans and corn.  Raise heat and bring back to a boil.  While waiting mix the masa flour with enough water to create a thin paste.  When chili comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add the masa paste to the pot and stir well.  The masa will help to thicken the chili. Cover and cook another 30 minutes.  Serve hot with your favorite toppings such as cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, or scallions.  Chili tastes great served with rice, pasta or a loaf of warm french bread. 

I like my Chili with cheddar, avocado and cilanto

Alternatives:  Since some of my readers don’t eat beef, you may substitute lamb instead.  If you’re vegetarian, you can make this with a variety of chopped mushrooms. Be sure to leave the mushroom pieces fairly large as they do shrink quite a bit when cooked.  I have made a chicken chili before but that’s a whole different recipe using white beans and other ingredients so I will leave that for another post.

Dig in and enjoy!!

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