Recipe: Beef Short Rib Chili

Short Rib Chili

There’s a reason this Short Rib Chili recipe is hands down my most requested dish to bring to a pot luck. This is inspired by my dad’s recipe, which he got from the mAmish lady who cooked at his work in the 80’s (though I’m fairly sure she didn’t use beer in hers). For a thicker texture, mash one can of beans a bit before combining, or make it like Skyline Chili does and leave them out altogether. Check out this award winning Beef Short Rib Chili!

Short Rib Chili
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4.43 from 14 votes

Short Rib Chili

Short Rib Chili
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 Bowls
Author Jim


  • 2 pounds Boneless Short Ribs*
  • 1.5 pounds Ground Sirloin**
  • 12 ounces Tomato Paste
  • 1 bottle Lager plus whatever is required to lubricate the cook
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Serrano Peppers
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 16 ounces low sodium beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cheddar Cheese (optional)
  • Pickled Jalapenoes (optional)
  • 1 batch chili powder (or 6 Tablespoons of your favorite)


  • Dice onion, mince garlic, seed and mince serranos.
  • Cube short ribs. Turn heat on cast iron on high, heavily salt and brown on all sides in 2 batches. Set into slow cooker/pressure cooker.
  • Set cast iron heat to medium. Saute onions in same pan with a pinch of salt, adding in a bit of oil if pan is dry. Add in garlic and serrano, stirring as to not burn either. Cook for 1 minute. Turn heat to low. Add in tomato paste, ½ of chili powder, and 2 bay leaves. Stir constantly for 3 minutes (tomato paste can burn quickly) Add in lager, stir until sauce is formed. Add to slow/pressure cooker.
  • Brown ground sirloin, 6-7 minutes. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and other ½ of the chili powder. Remove and stir in with chili, along with beef stock and beans.
  • Slow cook for 3-4 hours on high, or until short ribs are tender. Alternatively, pressure cook for 35 minutes, or until short ribs are done. Serve topped with pickled jalapenos and cheese.


*Do not substitute bone in short ribs. They are generally too fatty for this application, and while the bones do add some body and flavor, its not worth the tradeoff. Sub in chuck roast instead.
** Pro tip: use de-cased brats and take this to the next level! 
Chili Powder:
These chile powders are easily found online, and you’d be surprised what your local store might have in the ethnic aisle. Whichever you cant find, sub in (fresh!) chili powder. I usually make a double batch and put in a little extra into the chili, plus the leftover goes great on eggs, popcorn, you name it. If you use chili powder that’s been in the back of the cupboard for years, your chili will taste like sawdust. You’ve been warned.
2 tablespoons guajillo chile powder
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin


Serving: 8People | Calories: 712kcal

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  1. Just made this without beans for a keto friendly meal. It was delicious.

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  3. Made this a few weeks ago and my husband, 18 month old son, and I all LOVED it! Crockpot recipes are my go-to on evenings that I won’t have time to make dinner and this is one of our favorites already. We are having it for the 3rd time tonight!!! Thanks to Pinterest for helping me find you!

  4. The first time I cooked this chili I didn’t have all the ingredients. I used bone in short ribs. I didn’t have a lager. I didn’t have enough tomato paste so I used tomato sauce. I didn’t have beef broth so I used chicken broth. I was not able to find guajillo chili powder. I substituted six chili powder. The result was the best chili I have ever made! So when I was asked to bring a dish to our work pot luck I confidently volunteered to bring the chili. Everyone loved it! (I still haven’t been able to find guajillo chili powder.)

  5. Thank you for this great post. Your ketchup recipe is a staple in my kitchen! I just made another batch yesterday ?

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