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The perfect lazy Sunday afternoon recipe, this beef short rib chili takes just minutes to prep and then it simmers on the stove (or in the crock pot!) all afternoon. It's loaded with plenty of beans and veggies but also filled with tender, fall-off-the-bone shredded beef short ribs.
Why you're going to love this short rib chili:
- The prep time is minimal and most of the cook time is hands off! Sear the ribs and saute the veggies - then just add the remaining ingredients and let it go. This short rib chili cooks low and slow so you have more free time!
- You can make it on the stove top or in a crock pot. This recipe is flexible and you can easily adapt it to your busy mid week chaos or your lazy weekend routine. If you're going be out all day, cook it low and slow in the crock pot. If you've got an afternoon at home planned, then let it simmer on the stove for a few hours!
- You've never had anything like it! We all love the classic flavors of a good ol' fashioned ground beef chili. But have you tried using those same comforting chili flavor to braise short ribs?!?! Yeah, it's pretty much the best thing ever and you are going to love love love it!
How to make Beef Short Rib Chili:
Sear short ribs in olive oil until dark golden brown on all sides.
Set ribs aside and saute onion and green pepper in the same pot.
Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for another minute.
Stir in spices.
Add all the beans.
Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Add tomato juice and stir to combine.
Nestle the seared ribs into the chili.
Simmer, covered, for 2.5-3 hours or until beef is tender and falls apart easily.
Gently remove beef from the chili and transfer it to a plate.
Use two forks to shred the ribs and discard the bones and gristle.
Transfer meat back into the chili.
Stir in apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips and sliced green onions.
Short ribs vs. country style ribs
- I've tried both and honestly I don't notice much of a difference either way. They both tasted amazing!
- I'd say the bone in short ribs might have just a bit more flavor and moisture, but the difference is so negligible, I'd suggest you use whatever you have on hand or whatever is on sale!
- Sometimes the bone in ribs tend to have less meat on them, so if they're looking a little stingy I'll opt for the country style ribs.
- Alternately, you could even use a chuck roast for this recipe. I would recommend cutting it into short rib size pieces so that the cook time is the same.
Stove top vs. Crock Pot
- I've tried both and they both work great! Either way you're going to get the same cozy flavors!
- I like to cook this short rib chili on the stove when I've got a free afternoon at home. I love that it takes just about 3 hours so I can start it around lunch time, get some cleaning done or just lounge around the house and then by dinner time we've got a slow cooked, flavor-filled dinner!
- The benefit of the crock pot is that it does all the work while you're out and about. When we have a busy day but I know we'll be home for dinner, I sear the ribs, saute the onion, pepper, garlic and jalapeno and throw everything in the crock pot for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Then when I get home all I have to do is shred the beef and dinner is ready!
Tips for making the best short rib chili:
- Be sure to taste the chili and season as needed. Don't wait until the end to taste your food. I like to taste this chili after an hour or two of simmering and add a little more salt, maybe a pinch of sugar or even a little cayenne pepper. Then taste it again at the end and season a bit more.
- Adjust the flavors to your family's tastes. If they don't like spice, omit the chiles in adobo. If they don't like kidney beans, add more pinto beans instead. If they love cilantro, add a tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro in there! This recipe is just a blueprint - use it as such!
- If you're feeling adventurous add a couple teaspoons of brewed coffee or espresso powder to your chili! You'll be pleasantly surprised at the depth of flavor that it adds!
- Don't skip the apple cider vinegar at the end! It's going to amplify all the flavors SO MUCH. If you don't have apple cider vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar, red white vinegar, white balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar.
Tips for freezing short rib chili:
- This recipe makes a nice big pot of chili so I like to freeze half of it for later.
- Allow the chili to cool on the counter for an hour or so.
- Transfer to an air tight container.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips for reheating chili:
- Thaw chili in the fridge overnight if possible, or add frozen chili to a large pot.
- Add a splash of tomato juice to help loosen up the chili.
- Add a moderate pinch of salt to give it a boost of flavor.
- Put a cover on the pot of chili to help it heat up faster and prevent it from bubbling and making a mess.
- Heat chili in a covered pot on the stove over medium heat.
- Stir every couple minutes to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Warm until heated through and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Other family favorites you'll love:
- Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs
- Slow Cooker Bourbon Braised Beef
- Short Rib Beef Stroganoff
- Sausage, Potato and Beer Cheese Soup
- One Pot Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni
This post was originally published in March 2019. It was republished in October 2019 to include process shots, step-by-step instructions and tips for making the best short rib chili every single time!