Skirt Steak Chili

I LOVE chili, it’s the perfect winter time comfort food! Chili with quality steak that’s cooked perfectly is what I’m all about. If you’ve never tried skirt steak, you’re missing out! Some people call it flank steak chili, or hanger steak chili. It might not look as pretty as a NY Strip, but it’s EVERY SINGLE BIT (if not more) delicious. Skirt steak is also inexpensive, so you really have nothing to lose by giving this awesome chili a chance! Be sure to cook the steak correctly, you don’t want tough chewy steak.. you want soft, succulent morsels of tender steaky goodness.

Prep Time 1 H
Cook Time 2 H
Recipe Yield A huge pot of freakin' awesome chili.

Helpful Tools & Things:

You'll need a good quality large heavy pot to cook this chili in. An enameled cast iron dutch oven is the perfect pot for this job! They also last forever! That Victorinox Fibrox Pro knife is also my go-to kitchen knife, I've had mine for 13 years and it's still going strong! Totally worth it.

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  1. I used dried pinto beans, because canned beans are not as fresh and flavorful! To use dried pinto beans, boil a pot of salted water, add at least 2 tbsp of salt to the water. I added my pinto beans to already boiling water and let it boil for about 2 minutes before cutting the heat and covering the pot for 60 minutes.

  2. While the beans are sitting, chop the onions, jalapenos, and garlic. I like to use a food processor or small food chopper for this to save MAD time!

  3. Now it’s time to cook the perfect steak! This is a special technique that takes a little extra time, but is TOTALLY worth trying, no matter how weird it seems. TRY IT, IF YOU DO IT RIGHT YOU WILL NOT REGRET THIS. To get the perfect sear… place the steak in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Heat your oven up to 500 degrees with your steak pan inside it.. CAST IRON IS A MUST HERE FOLKS, YOU DO NOT WANT A MELTY HANDLE on your non-cast iron skillet. Next, create a 50/50 mixture of corn starch and salt. After the steak has been in the freezer for at least 15 minutes, take it out, pat it dry with a towel/paper towel, and then rub it down with a light coating of the salt/corn starch mix. Now melt some butter, you are going to coat the steak with this right before dropping it into the sizzling HOT skillet. When the oven reaches 500 degrees, pull the pan out and place it on the hottest burner on your stove for 5 straight minutes! HEAT IT UP GOOD! Get that steak coated in butter and drop it into the pan! If you’ve done this right, you may just get a pretty little FLARE UP! BE CAREFUL HERE! I HAVE BURNED ARM HAIR OFF from doing this, I’ll have a video posted to this page soon that will show that breathtaking moment. (It was totally worth it though!) Simply search each side for a few minutes. When you have a nice sear on all sides, you now have a delicious BLUE RARE or PITTSBURGH RARE STEAK. You could eat it like this.. but for most people, they’re going to want to cook it to a nice perfect medium rare… so pop it into you 500 degree oven, still in the pan. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes in the oven, depending on how thick the cut of steak is. The thinner pieces of steak I didn’t even put into the oven because the sear had already cooked them to perfection! After the steak is a nice medium rare (if you follow the directions it’s probably close enough without even measuring the temp) pull it out and let it rest on a plate for about 5-10 minutes to let all the perfect little juices solidify back into the meat. If you don’t wait and cut right into the meat, all the juicy juice will pour right out and you will have a less flavorful/less juicy piece of meat, and it will be a SAD DAY indeed.

  4. Heat your dutch oven or large pot on stove top under medium/high heat for about 3 minutes, and THEN add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Let that heat for about another minute and then drop in the onion/garlic/jalapeno mixture. I personally do not like to overcook my veggies, so i literally only cook these for about a minute to a minute 1/2. They’re going to cook more in the oven anyways and you don’t want them mushy and flavorless… so cook them less at this point then you normally ever would, and your taste buds will thank you!

  5. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Add the cornmeal, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder and stir gently. Add the chicken broth, honey, tomatoes to the pot. Cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and stir gently.. lovingly. Soon.

  6. After the meat has sat and chilled out for a bit, slice it up into perfect little bite-sized morsels! Then add them all to the chili that’s sitting and waiting to go into the oven.

  7. Make sure your oven is set to 300 degrees and pop the dutch oven in with lid on. Cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. You can always remove the lid for the last 30 minutes or so to help it thicken. Bake until the meat and beans become tender.. serve with your favorite garnishes! For this recipe I used cilantro, sour cream, and crushed organic corn chips from Trader Joes.


  • My dad used to make chili once or twice every winter, and I always looked forward to it!

    I didn’t want to overcook the steak one bit since the steak was going to continue to cook through once added to the chili, so I used a method that gave me a really nice sear on the outside, without cooking through too much, which gives a delicious practically melt-in-your-mouth juicy & flavorful steak experience.

  • I learned and modified this wonderful Steak Chili Recipe from:

  • My recipe is a little different in that I’m using honey in place of molasses, skirt steak in place of blade steak/chuck-eye roast, and cilantro in place of green onions. I also used a very different method to searing/cooking the steak! I also only used about 2.75 lb of steak instead of the recommended 3.5lbs, which I felt was a little too much steak to be pounding down. Oh, and half-way through I decided to throw in an orange pepper, which gave some nice color and added further flavor to the dish.





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