Ground Beef Chili

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Leigh Anne Wilkes


  • 2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 dried ancho chili stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ounce tortilla chip crushed (¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 14.5-ounce can whole diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 3 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 15-ounce can pinto bean
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar


  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees.
  • Toss beef with 2 tablespoons water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking soda in bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place anchos in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if anchos begin to smoke. Transfer to food processor and let cool.
  • Add tortilla chips, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, thyme, and 2 teaspoons pepper to food processor with anchos and process until finely ground, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to bowl. Process tomatoes and their juice in now-empty work bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add beef and cook, stirring with wooden spoon to break meat up into 1/4-inch pieces, until beef is browned, about 12 to 14 minutes. Add ancho mixture and chipotle; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add remaining 2 cups water, beans and their liquid, sugar, and tomato puree. Bring to boil, scraping bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits.
  • Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Remove chili from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in any fat that has risen to top of chili, then add vinegar and season with salt to taste.
  • Garnish with cilantro