I call this recipe Chuck Wagon Chili because I can imagine that the texture of this chili and the ground beef would have been something like pioneers would have made on their trips out west.
Or I also imagine a wagon train cook, making something like this many years ago, flavorful minced chuck roast, deep rich beefy flavors and spices. Chuck Wagon Chili is the kind of minced beef recipe that tastes even better the next day.
The Chuck Wagon Chili is delicious when you first make it, but if you can do it a day ahead and wait to eat it, the flavors really develop. I like to serve it with fresh guacamole and taco chips or warm tortillas. This is great to make in the crockpot! My Chuck Wagon Chili is not a difficult chili to make, just a little prep work. But once your onions are chopped, and you have either some homemade tomato sauce made or, if you prefer, your favorite jarred sauce and beef broth, it goes together quickly. I make this as a crockpot dinner.
I just cook my onions and garlic, brown my beef and add my spices, cook them a little bit and then add the liquids, and the rest is up to the crockpot. All the details are in the Chuck Wagon Chili recipe. Enjoy!
My Secret Chuck Wagon Chili Recipe
- 2 large yellow onion - chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic - minced or put through a garlic press
- ¼ cup chili flakes (chilli flakes in British English)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1½ tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 pinch ground black pepper - to your taste (optional)
- 15 ounces ketchup (tomato sauce Australia and UK) - (homemade or jarred)
- 1 can beer - (12 ounces)
- 1 can beef stock (beef broth or beef bouillon) - (14½ ounce)
- 1 cup water
- In a large pot with at least 3-inch sides, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until hot. Add the onions and cook on medium heat until soft, about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes stirring often. Add the beef to the pot and brown uncovered for about 20 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and optional ground red pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the beef, onions and spices from the pot and add to the crock pot. Add your beef broth to the pot where the onions and beef originally were and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and add the beef broth and browned bits to the crockpot. Now add the beer and tomato sauce, and water. Cover the crockpot and cook for 4-5 hours, until the beef is fork tender.
- Once the beef is done, remove it from the crockpot and set it aside. Place all the liquids from the crockpot into a large saucepan and reduce by cooking over high heat. This takes about 15 minutes (But it is so worth it). Reduce the liquids until it is a medium consistency, then pour everything over the beef. I would let it cool and refrigerate until the next day if you can. Otherwise, it is ready to season with a little salt and pepper to taste with guacamole and chips on the side.