Single Guy Chef: Newcastle Steak Chili

I’ve made chili several times with several different recipes, so I figured I could wing it and create something new. I was in the mood for a steak chili and this is what I came up with. It’s a very tasty, super hearty chili that should last you several days.

4 lb. beef roast, cut into 1/2″ cubes
I found sirloin tip on sale and used that. I was going to use tri-tip as that was cheaper, but it was already sold out. London broil could work, too. Avoid chuck. Cut out any fat and gristle/tough connective tissue when you’re dicing the beef.
2 bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale
1 large onion, diced
I used a 10 oz. package of pre-diced onions as I don’t have a food processor and hate dicing onions.
18 oz. of tomato paste
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. salsa
Your choice, but it should be red (tomato) not green (chile or tomatillo). I used Pace Picante sauce, medium.
15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chili powder
There is a lot of variation here. I’m talking chili with an I, not chile with an E. The former is a spice blend – look at what it has in it and decide if you like it. The latter is a single spice; it will work, but it won’t taste as good. One note.
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil


diced chile peppers
Must be fresh, not canned. It will be faster to just buy a chunky salsa and add more of it.
cayenne pepper
Add to taste if it’s not hot enough. Again, you can just go with a hotter salsa and/or chili powder. My chili powder already has cayenne in it.

First, get everything ready. Dice, open cans, drain, rinse, measure spices, etc. This will lower your stress while cooking.

Dicing the beef will be a pain, but this is steak chili. You can ask your butcher if can do this. I doubt he can, but ask anyway. If he offers to grind it – even a chili grind – say no. Might as well buy ground beef if he’s going to do that. Instead, perhaps it’s time to pass those knife skills you’ve acquired on to a small child. Just remind them to let the knife do the cutting – don’t press hard. Hey, they gotta learn sometime.

Brown the beef in the olive oil over medium heat. Stir often, don’t cook it. There might be a little pink, but that’s better than overcooking it. Drain it.

Put it back on the stove and add the onions. Add just enough beer to cover it; for me that was 2 bottles. Bring it to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often to remove carbonation. This will tenderize the beef, allowing you to buy cheaper cuts.

Stir in the other ingredients (in this order for best results). Mix it up good before adding the next ingredient:
tomato paste
tomato sauce
chili powder (don’t dump it all at once)
garlic powder
garlic salt

Simmer for an hour, stirring every 10 minutes.

At this point, you can eat it. However, it will taste better if you let it cool and throw it in the fridge overnight. The flavors combine and intensify overnight, so unless you find it way too bland, don’t add anything until the next day.

2 thoughts on “Single Guy Chef: Newcastle Steak Chili”

  1. A few variations:
    1. Add cumin to taste if the chili powder doesn’t have it already.
    2. In place of garlic powder, get one of those jars of crushed garlic.
    3. Cinnamon. Just a tiny little bit (you don’t want it tasting like someone dumped cookies in your chili). A quarter of a teaspoon, tops.
    4. If you want heat, you can also go with chipotle or ancho powder. If you want something that’ll give a hint of smoke but not as much heat, smoked paprika does a good job of it.

  2. Great points. I should have been explicit that my chili powder contained (in addition to the ancho chile powder) onion, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and even some cinnamon and ground cloves. I still am not sure why we add cumin to anything; I assume it’s some sort of flavor enhancer, like MSG.

    As for the garlic, the powder is simply more potent. As you know, cooked garlic gets very mild. I once got garlic as a pizza topping (before I learned about chicken and garlic pizza) and was pretty amazed when the slices of garlic didn’t make my eyes water. It wasn’t even as strong as when I added my own garlic powder. Of course, this was before I learned about roasted garlic.

    The other reason is that I once got minced garlic in a jar and I thought it tasted off. The color was an unappetizing dark yellow. Both were probably caused by whatever they used to preserve it. Do you have a brand you like?

    I don’t think ancho chile powder has any heat. When I first started making chili, some chef or cookbook recommended using that, so that’s what I did. I added jalapenos to give it some heat because it was so mild. I think I switched to serrano or New Mexico chiles because I’m not a big fan of the taste of jalapenos, unless it’s in “popper” form 🙂 As you recommended, you’ll get better results by starting with ancho and adding each spice separately, but I was trying to get it done quickly. The chipotle powder is a great idea, though; I’ll probably replace the cayenne with that.

    Hmm, maybe I should find a recipe for chili powder and just make a big batch of it, like I would for BBQ rubs.

    Another thing I might suggest for this recipe is spilling out some of the beer after you simmer it – if you’re not a beer fan. At least the beef was very tender.

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