Hello, welcome to Sunday Supper! I have a classic cold-weather favorite this week: Chili. This recipe is in the Instant Pot, but it’s basically the same process on the stovetop, in a Dutch oven – the only difference is you’ll let it simmer on the stove for about 30-40 minutes. Chili is a great one-pot meal that is so satisfying on a cold and dreary day. Plus, you can add all the delicious toppings you like! Let’s get right to it, Instant Pot Chili!
The ingredients are all pretty straight-forward. You may be wondering what that Cambro contains though…well, remember the French Dip we did a few weeks ago? I saved the au jus and defrosted it to use in place of the stock chili normally calls for. We always save leftover cooking juice. No matter what! Just freeze it in a Ziplock, and you can replace the stock called in almost any recipe. Using cooking juice or saved stock adds delicious layers of flavor and richness. So the big takeaway from today is, always save your cooking juice!
For the beans, I like to use kidney beans and white beans. It’s just a nice color variety. Sometimes, I like to add a cup of corn. For the chili powder, I am using Guajillo chile powder, as opposed to the generic Chili Powder. Guajillo chiles are relatively mild and have a smoky, tangy flavor. I feel that this adds such a nice depth of flavor to the chili. Also, I want this chili to lean slightly toward Mexican flavors, so the Guajillo chile is perfect for laying the foundation for Mexican toppings.
Cooking the Chili
Begin by setting the Instant Pot to sauté and once it’s hot, add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. I used 2 pounds of ground beef. Add your beef to the pot and add a hefty sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the ground beef into crumbles as it cooks. While that’s cooking, dice up one medium sized onion and mince a few cloves of garlic.
Once the beef is browned, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until the onions just start to go translucent. Then deglaze the pan with the 1 and 1/4 cups of au jus (or broth). Next add the spices: 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons dried oregano. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spices become fragrant. Add the tomato paste, stir to combine. Next, add the beans, give it a good stir and pour the crushed tomatoes and their juice over the top and, without stirring, secure the lid on the Instant Pot.
Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook and set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the natural steam release go, it took about 15 minutes.
After the steam releases and the little float valve is down, carefully remove the lid. My chili was still pretty liquid-y so I set the Instant Pot to sauté and simmered it to reduce the liquid. At this point, I tasted it for seasoning and added another generous pinch of salt. I also added 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar. This is optional.
After about 8 minutes on sauté, the consistency was thicker so I turned off the pot. Let the chili sit for about 10 minutes before serving. It’ll thicken up a little more during that cool off period.
Then I topped my chili with pickled onions, crumbled cotija cheese and some leftover cilantro pesto from the Mexican Pizza we made on Friday.
This was by far the best chili I have made. I can’t be totally sure if it was the au jus, or the Guajillo chile powder…but this will definitely be on a regular rotation this winter. What if you don’t have some saved cooking juice hiding in your fridge or freezer, not to worry, I will include instructions in the recipe card notes for creating a souped-up stock.
Instant Pot Chili
An old favorite made more delicious with Guajillo Chile powder and leftover au jus. Faster than ever in the Instant Pot, but still just as easy on the stovetop.
- 1-2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2-4 cloves Garlic, minced
- Generous pinches of Kosher Salt and Pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 1/4 cup Au Jus (or beef broth, for souped up version, see notes)
- 2 tbsp. Guajillo Chile Powder
- 1 tbsp. Cumin Powder
- 2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 3 tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1 15.5-oz. can Kidney Beans
- 1 15.5-oz. can White Northern Beans
- 1 28-oz. Can San Marzano Tomatoes, hand crushed
- 2 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar, optional
Set the Instant Pot to sauté and once it's hot, add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
Add your beef to the pot and add a hefty sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the ground beef into crumbles as it cooks.
Once the beef is browned, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until the onions just start to go translucent.
Then deglaze the pan with the 1 and 1/4 cups of au jus (or broth). Be sure to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir well.
Next add the chili powder, cumin, and dried oregano.
Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spices become fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, stir to combine. Add the beans, give it a good stir.
Pour the crushed tomatoes and their juice over the top and, without stirring, secure the lid on the Instant Pot.
Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook and set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the steam naturally release.
After the steam releases and the float valve is down, carefully remove the lid.
If Chili is still liquid-y, set the Instant Pot to sauté and simmer to reduce the liquid.
At this point, taste it for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Add 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar. This is optional.
Let chili sit for 10 minutes before serving.
For a souped-up broth, add 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder to 1.5 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock.