Our Favorite Chili Recipe

Chili may be my favorite comfort food. This past week, Austin was uncharacteristically cold, gray, and rainy for March. It was the perfect weather for a hot bowl of chili, with a little cheese on top and freshly baked bread to soak it all up.

This recipe is the best I’ve found – it has a nice balance of meat, beans, and vegetables while still keeping that nice, thick chili consistency.


  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (sometimes we substitute a handful of frozen pre-chopped red and green bell peppers)
  • 1/3 cup bottled steak sauce
  • 1-1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or use frozen herb cubes)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the beef with the onion in a skillet till brown, stir in the dry spices.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. Alternatively, you can cook in a large pot on the stove on med-high for 1 hour. If you choose this method, save the fresh herbs and beans, adding them when the rest of the ingredients have simmered and the vegetables are tender.

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