It was only a matter of time. Paleo Chili needed to happen. Specifically, Paleo Steak Chili.
If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I have a mild obsession with soup (and yes, I have been making soups all summer, I’ve just not been posting them because I don’t think you all want soup recipes right now!) I almost always have some variety of chili stocked in my big garage freezer.
While I have shared quite a few of my frequently eaten chili recipes here and while all are delicious in their own right, every single one of them includes beans.
Since we have been eating Paleo, we’ve stopped eating legumes altogether (side note: I thought this would be the toughest part of eating Paleo but it’s not. The toughest for me is abstaining from cheese but we’ll save that conversation for another day.)
Simultaneously, my family was starting to go through Chili withdrawal and Whole Foods was having a big sale on Pastured Bottom Round Steaks. If you are not familiar with Bottom Round, it is a tougher cut (READ: LESS EXPENSIVE) and best slow cooked, braised or marinated for a very long time to tenderize it.
I knew that I wanted to make a hardy chili that was based on steak, not ground beef, and that wouldn’t cost a fortune to make (especially when using 100% grass-fed beef!) so when I saw these pastured bottom round steaks for under $4.50 a pound, I grabbed a lot of them!
This chili was inspired by the flavor of my Everyday Beef & Bean Chili. Even though this cooks long and slow, I still wanted it to be easy to throw together and based on spices that most of us already have in the house.
- As for spiciness, if you want this Chili MILD, omit the jalapeno and reduce the chili powder to 3 1/2 Tablespoons. If you want it MEDIUM, include the jalapeno but don’t use the ribs or seeds. If you want it SPICY, use the whole jalapeno including seeds and ribs.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil (or avocado oil), divided
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, chopped (see NOTES for spice variations)
- 1 large rib celery, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, core removed and chopped
- 2½ pounds bottom round steak, trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
- 4 Tablespoons Mexican chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (without salt)
- 1 cup broth or stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
- Trim steaks of any huge pieces of fat and cut into 1" cubes.
- Combine chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, white pepper, cayenne, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf in a small bowl.
- Use a food processor (obviously you can dice and chop by hand, it just takes a bit longer) to quickly chop the following: peeled and quartered onions. Pulse a handful of times until onions are just chopped and still have texture.
- Remove from processor bowl and toss in garlic, jalapeno (see NOTES) and celery. Process until chopped and remove to a bowl.
- Place green pepper in bowl of processor and pulse until just chopped but not watery. Remove from processor and combine with garlic mixture. Set aside.
- Heat large soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil then chopped onions. Cook 10 minutes until softened. Add chopped peppers, celery and garlic and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the onion and pepper mixture and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to pot. Once hot, add cubed beef. Cook, undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes and stir. Continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes to brown all sides.
- Add spice mixture to beef, cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute until spices are fragrant.
- Add crushed tomatoes, onion and pepper mixture and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cover slightly ajar.
- Simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, remove bay leaf, serve and Enjoy!