Hearty Beef Chili (with or without Fritos)

by Feb 8, 2017



I’m beginning to understand the spectrum that is “chili”.  Most of my past chili posts are either vegetarian (Black Bean Chili, Chili Beans with Kabocha) or are light on the meat (Turkey Chili, Chipotle Chicken Chili).  Not so with this one:  2 pounds of ground beef, beans optional.  As such (no beans), it might classify as “Texas chili”, although I have little clue about Texas, and I did use tomatoes, another controversial ingredient with the purists.  Serving with Fritos probably pushes us into vintage Girl Scouts fare, but I was feeling nostalgic.


Adapted from Ree Drummond’s Simple, Perfect Chili published in The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Hearty Beef Chili (with or without Fritos)

Yield: 6 - 8 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef (organic grass fed is nice here, and very lean)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel brand)
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water
  • after long cooking: 1/4 cup masa (corn flour) mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • optional: 1 15 oz. can pinto beans and 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • for serving: shredded cheddar cheese, diced onion, sour cream, sliced jalapeño, and Fritos!


  1. Brown the beef in a large dutch oven over moderate heat.
  2. Toss in the garlic-salt mash, stir and cook a minute or two. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir and cook a minute to toast the spices and release their flavors.
  3. Add the tomatoes-chiles and tomato sauce. Give it a stir, add 1/2 cup water, and lower the heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for an hour, checking on it now and then to give a stir and perhaps add additional water if it becomes overly dry.
  4. After an hour of cooking, stir together the masa and 1/2 cup water with a fork. Pour into the chili and give it a stir. Add beans, if using, and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar, diced onion, sour cream, sliced jalapeño, and maybe even Fritos!

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