Let the oven do the magic instead of messing up your stovetop! This delicious Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili (can also be made with chuck roast) is loaded with chunks of super tender beef and lots of healthy beans and veggies!
If you're looking for a fun and delicious meal you can also stash away in the freezer for quick and easy lunches and dinners, this delicious Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili checks all of the boxes! With lots of us being home-bound right now with restrictions, this is a simple, rewarding recipe that will fill your home with delicious aromas!
I had a nice pack of boneless short ribs in the freezer and decided to use them for making chili. I wanted to come up with a chili recipe that would have bite-size chunks of tender beef, a couple of types of beans and lots of healthy veggies. Six pounds of short ribs later (and a couple of chuck roasts to boot) I (and lots of my favorite taste-testers) think this recipe is ready for your cooking pleasure!
I served this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili one evening when our son, Nick, his wife, Lindsay and their two little ones, Emmy and Hayes were visiting. We had barely started eating when I looked over and seven-year-old Emmy had polished her bowl clean and was ready for seconds. We all were amazed at her wonderful appetite, but soon there were six bowls polished clean. Everyone agreed, it was a chili favorite!
What are boneless short ribs?
Boneless short ribs are an interesting cut of meat. Every time I go to a grocery store or market that carries beef short ribs I quiz the butcher behind the counter. I've gotten so many different answers from different butchers. If a store doesn't carry boneless short ribs they often say "there is no such thing" and, actually, they're correct.
According to Cook's Illustrated, "Typically, so-called boneless short ribs are not real ribs at all. They are cut from the meat above the ribs closest to the shoulder (i.e., the chuck). The bones near the shoulder are too narrow for it to make sense to keep them attached to the meat, so butchers simply remove them and cut the meat into short rectangular “ribs.”
Cook's Illustrated also explains that "Purveyors can get away with this nomenclature (ribs) because a boneless short rib is actually the same muscle as a true (bone-in) short rib."
No matter what you call it, I've found that this cut of meat is convenient as it's usually nicely trimmed, well-marbled and comes out super tender when slow-cooked. Because boneless short ribs come from the shoulder (or chuck), a lean but well-marbled chuck roast is a good substitute (and works very well in this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili.
Where can you purchase boneless short ribs?
As I mentioned earlier, not every grocery store carries boneless short ribs. You can almost always find them at Costco and here in North Carolina, Harris Teeter always carries them. I've also spotted them at Aldi for a great price. If you can't locate boneless short ribs, just pick up a chuck roast and cut it up. It's a little more work, but not a big deal.
No messing up the stovetop!
Most recipes that call for short ribs or chuck roast require browning the meat as a first step. The browning adds an additional layer of wonderful flavor. But I HATE making such a mess on the stovetop, backsplash, countertops, etc. It seems like tiny splashes of the oil go everywhere! But not with this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili, as there's no browning involved. The meat is slow-roasted for two hours on its own before the other ingredients are added. The oven does the magic here as the meat actually gets nicely browned without using the stovetop. Yay!
This Short Rib Chili utilizes lots of pantry items
If you've been stocking your pantry, you probably already have most of the ingredients for this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili. You'll be opening lots of cans: 4 cans of beans, one can each of fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and part of a can of chipotle peppers. Just pick up a pack of boneless short ribs or a pot roast and a few bell peppers and you should be good to go for lots of healthy and easy meals.
Café Tips for making this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili
- Chili powders vary in intensity so the amount you add will depend on what brand of chili powder you have and your personal taste. It's better to start with less and adjust as you go. You can add more at any point. Personally, I really like this Mexene Chili Powder. It's not over-the-top spicy but has lots of flavor.
- Canned chipotle peppers are one of the ingredients in this chili. What are they? Chipotle peppers come in a small can (tuna-size) and are a great condiment to have on hand. They are small jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and are packed in a red sauce called adobo sauce. Adobo sauce is made from tomatoes and spices. Both the smoked peppers and the adobo sauce are delicious but a little goes a long way. I just call for one chipotle pepper, finely chopped and one tablespoon of the sauce for this short rib chili recipe. The peppers will keep very well in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. Here's a great article from Serious Eats about all the ways you can use a can of chipotle peppers.
- This recipe makes a large batch of chili (16 1-cup bowls). It reheats well (as if you just made it) and it's a great recipe for stocking the freezer.
- Like many soups and stews, this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili is even better the next day as all the delicious flavors have a chance to meld and marry.
- This recipe calls for fire-roasted tomatoes. They add a nice depth of flavor to any tomato recipe. You can read about what they are and why I love fire-roasted tomatoes so much in this Super Easy Pizza Sauce post. All that being said, if you don't have or can't find fire-roasted tomatoes, regular canned diced tomatoes will be fine.
- This Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili recipe is super flexible.
- It calls for three pounds of short ribs or chuck roast. If you like a chili that's has a little higher ratio of veggies, reduce the beef to one or two pounds. It will still be incredibly delicious!
- Don't have dark red kidney beans and/or black beans? Not a problem, substitute pinto beans, great northern beans, red beans... actually whatever kind of beans you have in your pantry will work!
- If you have green or yellow or orange bell peppers you can use them instead of red.
- If you like a really thick chili add less beef broth in step 8. If you like a looser, soupier chili, add an extra cup of beef broth.
- The potential garnishes for this Slow Roasted Short Rib Chili are almost limitless. I've listed a few possibilities in the recipe but use what you and your family/friends love. M&Ms? Hmmm... maybe not!
- To make the pickled red onions (shown in the pictures above), simply cut half of a red onion into thin slices/wedges. Add the onions to a jar or storage container. Add 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt to the jar. Cover and shake gently. Let the jar sit out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, shaking (gently) occasionally. That's it! The longer they sit, the prettier they get (wish that was true for me)!
- Every oven is unique, so the timing on the first roasting may be varied. Check a piece of the beef for tenderness after an hour and 45 minutes. That will give you a good gauge of how much longer you need to leave it in the oven before adding the tomatoes, beans, etc.
P.S. A little side note on the Coronavirus.
Scott said to me this morning "Happy first day of Spring!". With all the crazy news that's coming at us (with increasing direness), it would be easy to miss the arrival of Spring altogether. It seems there's a lot to worry about, be concerned about and get anxious about. I'm wondering if that actually might be the point of all this. The coronavirus is no surprise to our all-knowing God. It may be an event that's designed to make us refocus and reflect on where our priorities are and who we draw our strength from.
Scott and I are choosing to be smart and do all the practical things we can to ward off this horrible virus and prevent it from spreading. We're also looking for ways to encourage and support others as we can. But most of all we're choosing to look up, to pray a lot more, be thankful for all the blessings we have and to meditate on verses from the Bible like this:
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, will never abandon those who seek you. Psalm 9:9&10
Happy first day of Spring! Praying for our family and community, near and far. Stay safe!
If you love chili, check out some of our other chili recipes:
If you enjoyed these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1-3 teaspoons chili powder more to taste
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs or chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces (or well-marbled chuck roast)
- 2 cups beef broth (divided)
- 1 large yellow onion diced small
- 2 medium red or orange bell peppers diced small
- 4 medium cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 14½- ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 28- ounce-can crushed tomatoes
- 2 15½- ounce cans dark red kidney beans rinsed and well-drained
- 2 15½- ounce cans black beans rinsed and well-drained
- 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
- 1 pepper plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce chipotle in adobo
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- Any or all of the following: pickled red onions (see recipe in the post), or diced white onions, diced, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeño, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, tortilla chips.
Combine all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut short ribs (or chuck roast) into 1-inch pieces, discarding any large areas of fat. Place meat in a large bowl.
Add the rub to the bowl and toss to coat. Allow meat to sit for 30 minutes or cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 300˚F.
Transfer the meat to a large (6-quart) Dutch oven. Spread the meat to an even layer then pour 1 cup of the broth over the meat (refrigerate the remaining cup of broth). Cook over medium-high heat, just until the broth comes to a boil. Remove from heat, cover the pot tightly and place it in the preheated oven. Roast for 2-2½ hours or until meat is fork-tender.
Towards the end of the beef roasting time, dice the onion and bell pepper nice and small (about ½-inch) and mince the garlic.
When the meat is tender, remove the pot from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400˚F. Immediately add the diced onion, pepper and the garlic to the pot. Stir well to combine.
Cover and allow the pot to sit for 5 minutes to allow the veggies to soften. Add the remaining chili ingredients (tomatoes, beans, etc.) and the reserved beef broth. Stir well, cover and return to the oven for another 45 minutes. (If you like your chili a little thicker, return the pot to the oven for another 10 minutes, uncovered.)
Remove from the oven, stir well and cover. Allow chili to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to marry and meld. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. If you like a spicier chili you can add additional chili powder or chipotle at this point. Garnish as desired.
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.
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