Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (2024)

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For football fans looking for hearty make-ahead party food,thisTri-TipSteak Chili Recipeis the real deal for game day.

You will love how easy it is to make this thick, hearty steak chili with a generous amount of tri-tip steak, three types of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and green chiles to feed a crowd.

Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (1)

Play fantasy football, but give me real steak chili with meaty tri-tip, spicy chiles, lots of beans, and a homemade chili seasoning perfectly balanced to get my attention but not set my mouth on fire.

Win or lose, spicy or mild, this medium-spiced tri-tip steak chili is a crowd-pleaser any day of the week.

We pack a lot of info in here about selecting the best steak, creating the awesome chili seasoning, and a whole long list of toppings to set a chili bar like a pro—scan this handy table of contents for all the highlights.

Table of contents

  • What is the best steak for chili?
    • Tri-Tip Roast or Steaks
    • Sirloin
    • Stew Meat
    • Chuck Roast
    • Round Steak (top/bottom round, London broil, eye of round)
    • Ribeye
  • What exactly is tri-tip?
    • What recipes can tri-tip be used for?
  • Selecting and Prepping Tri-Tip for Chili
  • Steak Chili Recipe Ingredients (Makes 7 Quarts)
  • 5 Easy Steps to Make Steak Chili
  • Toppings to Serve with Chili
  • Recipe Variations
  • More Ways to Serve Chili as a Main Course
  • More Football Party Recipes for a Crowd
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (2)

What is the best steak for chili?

Look for beef steak cuts that are well-marbled with little exterior fat and minimal or no connective tissue for superior steak-like texture and flavor.

Tri-Tip Roast or Steaks

(Best choice)
PROS—flavor, marbling, little waste (trimmed), tender steak texture, price (depending on region)
CONS—price and availability varies based on region

Sirloin

(2nd Best choice, but only if well marbled)
PROS—price, flavor, little waste, some are well marbled
CONS—term “sirloin” is used for a wide variety of cuts so the quality and price are very inconsistent; when too lean, sirloin is tough or chewy if cooked beyond med-rare

Stew Meat

PROS—price, flavor (depending on cuts used), little waste
CONS—inconsistent cuts used for stew meat render inconsistent results in texture and flavor

Chuck Roast

PROS—price, beefy flavor
CONS—connective tissue that takes time (hours) to cook to tenderness; more waste (offsets price); stringy texture once tender; more of a roast beef flavor than steak flavor

Round Steak (top/bottom round, London broil, eye of round)

(Also called: top/bottom round, London broil, eye of round)
PROS—price (depending on type), little waste
CONS—lean, tough, or chewy if cooked beyond med-rare (may be tender enough in a pressure cooker)

Ribeye

PROS—flavor, marbling, tender steak texture
CONS—pricier cut without superior benefits (enjoy this cut grilled or pan-seared to med-rare)

The whole point of making steak chili is to feel like your eating steak, not shredded roast, right?!

Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (3)

What exactly is tri-tip?

Also known as Newport steaks and triangle steaks or roasts, tri-tip is an excellent value-cuthighly recommend for grilling and ordinarily should only be cooked to medium-rare.

It’s a single, triangular muscle located on each side of the cowjust under the bottom sirloin. Using this description may help when requesting one from your butcher.

Depending on regional availability, tri-tip can be aneconomical cut of steakfor a hearty chili. If your local grocery doesn’t offer this cut of beef, Wild Fork offers online shopping and delivery.

This versatile cut of beef makes fantastic steak chili because it stays tender, has great steak flavor, there’s no hassle with connective tissue, and it doesn’t get stringy or fall apart like a chuck roast.

Whether you grill it, smoke it, or simply brown it in a skillet per this recipe, Tri-Tip is always a WIN!

What recipes can tri-tip be used for?

  • grilled roast or steak
  • skillet beef fajitas
  • beef stroganoff
  • Korean bbq
  • grilled steak tacos
  • mushroom and blue cheese ragout
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (4)
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (5)
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (6)

Selecting and Prepping Tri-Tip for Chili

The prep for this recipe is easier if you can start with tri-tip steak, but tri-tip roast is usually easier to find so we use that as the example. If working with a roast, it is important to cut the roast against the grain into 1/2-inch steaks, then cut into cubes.

Select a roast or steak with a good amount of marbling and very little exterior fat so there is less waste when cutting it up.

Tri-tip roast is sold trimmed or untrimmed. Untrimmed roast, which means a fairlythick layer of exterior fatis left on the muscle on one side, is better for grilling or smoking.

Trimmed roast with the exterior fat removed is better for chili because you’re not paying for the extra fat which is of no benefit and there’s less labor not having to trim it yourself. Closely trimmed roasts make it easy to see the white streaks across the muscle within the grain of the meat (this is marbling).

NOTE:Exterior fat does little to flavor the meat, it is theinterior fat, referred to asmarbling, in the meat thatenhances theflavor.

  1. Trim any excess fat from the outside of the muscle.
  2. Cut roast into 1/2-inch slices across the grain. (Start at the point that allows for the cut to cross the grain of the meat.)
  3. Cut each slice into 1/2-inch strips.
  4. Cut strips into 1/2-inch chunks.

TIP: Slicing the meat against the grain into 1/2-inch cubes shortens the muscle fibers for a more tender bite.

Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (7)

Steak Chili Recipe Ingredients (Makes 7 Quarts)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large sweet yellow onions
  • 5 pounds tri-tip steak or roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 7/8 cup Homemade Chili Seasoning [Second Recipe] (about 4 ounces by weight), or more, to taste
    • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated onion
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt — or smoked sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cans kidney beans
  • 3 cans pinto beans
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 4 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup fire-roasted diced green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon hickory liquid smoke flavoring
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons masa harina flour
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (8)

5 Easy Steps to Make Steak Chili

  1. caramelize the onions
  2. brown the steak and garlic with the onions
  3. season the meat with the chili mix then deglaze the pan with wine
  4. transfer meat to soup pot with beans, tomatoes, chiles, beef stock, and liquid smoke; simmer 1 to 2 hours
  5. stir in masa flour paste and simmer 10 minutes
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (9)

Toppings to Serve with Chili

Keep it simple with a few cornbread croutons, scallions, and cheddar cheese or go all out and set up a chili bar with endless possibilities.

  • Cornbread or cornbread croutons
  • Saltine crackers
  • Chopped red, yellow, or green onions
  • Chopped green chilies (canned or fresh)
  • Avocado, or guacamole
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sliced radishes
  • Sliced jicama
  • Lime wedges
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese (any favorite)
  • Fried onions
  • Corn chips
  • Macaroni (chili mac)
  • Fried chickpeas
  • Air fried cornnuts (hominy)
  • Chipotle Tabasco

Make easy cornbread croutons: Toss cubed cornbread with a little melted butter to lightly coat the edges and bake in a convection oven at 400°F for 8-10 minutes. Crisp edges and soft centers—so much yum!

Recipe Variations

  • Make it less spicy by adding more ancho chile powder and less chipotle chile powder
  • Spice it up with more chipotle chile powder or use chiles like serrano, habanero, or chipotle chiles in adobo
  • Sub fresh green chiles for canned and cook with onions
  • Use dried beans instead of canned—one 15 ounce can of beans (drained) is equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans. 1/2 cup of dry beans will yield 1 1/2 cups cooked beans. Only add cooked or canned beans to the chili.
  • If RO*TEL brand tomatoes are not available, add 3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes and 2 additional tablespoons of chopped roasted green chiles.
  • Sub nitro stout for the wine
  • Make it without alcohol—sub more beef stock mixed with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or cocoa powderfor the wine
Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (10)

More Ways to Serve Chili as a Main Course

Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (11)

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Tri-Tip Steak Chili

Thick, hearty steak chili with a generous amount of tri-tip steak, three types of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes and green chiles to feed a crowd.

Prep Time1 hour hr

Cook Time2 hours hrs

Total Time3 hours hrs

Course: Main Dish

Cuisine: American

Servings: 18

Author: Judy Purcell

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil as needed
  • 2 large sweet yellow onions chopped
  • 5-6 pounds tri-tip steak or roast cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 7/8 cup Homemade Chili Seasoning (RECIPE BELOW)
  • 1 cup red wine or more beef stock
  • 3 (15 ounce cans) kidney beans drained
  • 3 (15 ounce cans) pinto beans drained
  • 2 (15 ounce cans) black beans drained
  • 5 (15 ounce cans) diced, fire-roasted tomatoes undrained, Muir Glen brand
  • 2 (10 ounce cans) Rotel tomatoes drained
  • 1 cup fire roasted diced green chilies 505 Southwestern brand
  • 1 tablespoon (hickory) liquid smoke flavoring
  • 4 cups beef stock depending on thickness desired
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, sauté 1/3 of the onion with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until softened and browning at the edges, about 8 minutes. Add 1/3 of the steak and garlic to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat (small batches allow the meat to brown better).

  • Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the chili seasoning over the meat and continue to cook 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant and clinging to the meat (all 4 ounces of chili seasoning should be used). Note: There should also be a nice browned coating on the bottom of the skillet—if it seems like this fond is burning, turn down the heat.

  • Add 1/3 cup of the red wine to loosen any browned bits and simmer 1 to 2 minutes to evaporate some of the wine. Repeat these steps with each batch and transfer to a large soup pot (at least 8 quarts).

  • While meat is browning, add the following to the pot: Drained beans, all tomatoes, chilies, and liquid smoke. Continue adding the batches of browned meat and onion to the larger pot when done.

  • Once all the meat is browned and in the pot with the beans, tomatoes, chiles, and liquid smoke, add enough beef stock to the pot to thin to desired consistency.

  • Simmer chili on the lowest setting for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or place in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.

  • Final Step: The last 10 minutes of cooking, mix masa harina flour with 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into chili and simmer for 10 minutes; this will thicken the chili and round out the flavors. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Video Displays Here or In Post

Notes

Nutrition values do not include the Homemade Chili Seasoning ingredients.

Recipe Variations:

  • Make it less spicy by adding more ancho chile powder and less chipotle chile powder
  • Spice it up with more chipotle chile powder or use chiles like serrano, habanero, or chipotle chiles in adobo
  • Sub fresh green chiles for canned and cook with onions
  • Use dried beans instead of canned—one 15 ounce can of beans (drained) is equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans. 1/2 cup of dry beans will yield 1 1/2 cups cooked beans. Only add cooked or canned beans to the chili.
  • If RO*TEL brand tomatoes are not available, add 3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes and 2 additional tablespoons of chopped roasted green chiles.
  • Sub nitro stout for the wine
  • Make it without alcohol—sub more beef stock mixed with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or cocoa powderfor the wine

Like any soup, chili always tastes better the second day, so prepare it in advance and warm-up when ready to eat.

Equipment

Nutrition

Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

Learn how to make this and all recipes even easier!Check out our Monthly Meal Prep System!

Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (12)

Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (13)

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Homemade Chili Seasoning

A mix of dried spices and herbs for a medium-spice chili seasoning.

Prep Time5 minutes mins

Total Time5 minutes mins

Course: Spices

Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex

Servings: 18

Author: Judy Purcell

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt , or regular sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons masa harina flour keep separate; do not mix with other spices

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients except masa flour in a small bowl until well blended. Use to season up to 7 quarts of chili, as desired (mix will be medium-spice).

  • Mix masa flour with 1/2 cup water and stir into chili the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Notes

Yields 4 ounces spice mix = almost 1 cup (use the entire amount on a 7-quart recipe)

Add more chipotle chile powder for a more spicy flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Learn how to make this and all recipes even easier!Check out our Monthly Meal Prep System!

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Tri-Tip Steak Chili Recipe (2024)
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