My favorite things to make when the weather starts cooling off a bit are soups and stews.  Heavy meals that keep you full and feeling warm are where it’s at for me. A good, hot chili is the perfect cold-weather food. This gameday steak chili recipe is the epitome of warm comfort food.

Ingredients for Thermodyne Gameday Steak Chili

  • 3.5-4 lbs. Chuck Steak
  • 1# Ground Beef (80/20)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 14.5 oz. Diced Canned Tomatoes
  • 2 qt. Beef Broth
  • 6 oz. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. Six Chili Powder (Or a Nice Chili Powder)
  • ¼ C. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tsp. Salt (Plus Some for the Chuck Steak)
  • 1 Tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp. Chipotle Peppers in Adobo (See Note)

Directions for Thermodyne Gameday Steak Chili

  1. Remove the chuck steak from package and salt heavily on all sides. Place on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack in the fridge uncovered for 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat a tbsp. of olive oil or vegetable oil over high heat and sear the chuck steak on each side for 5 minutes.
  3. While your steak is searing, finely chop your onion and garlic. Deseed your jalapeno and chop finely.
  4. Once your chuck is seared, remove from the pan, and set aside to cool.
  5. While the chuck is cooling, add the ground beef to the Dutch oven and spread in a thick, even layer around the pan. Allow to cook completely without moving or stirring.
  6. When the beef is cooked, remove from the pan, and set aside to cool enough to handle. Reserve the fat in the pan for the vegetables.
  7. Add onion, garlic, and pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat until tender.
  8. While the vegetables are cooking, cube the chuck steak in ¾ in pieces and break the ground beef apart with your hands to finely crumble it.
  9. When the vegetables are soft add the cubed and crumbled beef to the pot with the beef broth, diced canned tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, and paprika.
  10. Simmer this mixture over medium low heat for 1 ½ hours, stirring every half hour.
  11. Add the brown sugar and cook for another hour and a half, for a total of 3 hours.
  12. Add the canned chipotle peppers to a blender with half a can of water, and process until smooth.
  13. Add the salt, pepper, and 2 tsp. of chipotle peppers to the chili and top it with a lid. Turn off the heat, and let it set on the stove for 30 minutes without disturbing it.  At this point, you can add any cooked or canned beans that you wish.
  14. Serve and enjoy.

Importance of ingredients

With chili I find that the spices are truly game changing. Using a cheap paprika or chili powder can result in a piney, almost bitter final product. It is important to spend the money here and buy nice quality spices (especially chili powder). The 6 chili powder that is proprietary to Kroger here in the Midwest, and has 6 different chili peppers, that results in a nice mellow smokey, earthy blend that I really like.

Spice Level

In this version, I deseed my jalapenos and use only 2 tsp of chipotle pepper paste. If you are someone who loves spicy food, leave your seeds in and amp up the amount of chipotle pepper. Those chipotles are going to add some heat along with some smokey flavor. If you are a big wuss to heat, as many of my friends are, just substitute the chipotles for a few drops of liquid smoke.

Overnight Salt & Sear

This recipe is the first of what will probably be many overnight salt rubs on steaks.  When you salt a steak, it immediately starts to pull water out from the surface of the meat. Leaving it in your refrigerator with the fans blowing, uncovered all night will allow that moisture to dry. This results in an almost leathery surface texture that has far less liquid.

The lack of moisture allows your surface temperature to raise above that 212º mark at which water evaporates. There are those who think this step is pointless and there is no need to sear steaks or meats for stews and this is 100% the hill I’m willing to die on. A properly seared piece of meat adds so much depth to a dish like chili it is a crucial step in any chili (or stew) that I make.