Meat Lovers Chili is loaded up with three kinds of meat, (beef, pork, sausage) making this classic chili recipe a hearty favorite when the weather cools down and appetites ramp up. Everybody loves this easygoing one pot meal.
This meat lovers chili is a fix-it-and-forget-it recipe
Once you’ve got the meat (3 pounds!) browned, you can basically dump everything else in, give it a stir, and let it simmer away on its own. When you’re ready to chow down, let everybody serve themselves and top it with their favorite garnishes. Never have so many been so well fed with so little effort. It’s called meat lovers chili, but it’s everybody who comes running for this one.
TIP: Chili is one of those dishes that is easy to put together, but does benefit from a long slow simmer. That allows all the complex flavors to develop and mingle. Plan on at least 2 hours of (almost hands off) cooking time. I will let it sit on the stove for another hour off the heat, just to let it ‘mature’. Then it can be refrigerated until later, or reheated and served.
Meat lovers chili isn’t rocket science…I saute a large chopped onion, then brown each of the meats ~ beef, pork, and sausage ~ individually. After that everything goes back in the pot with a bottle of beer, a can of good crushed tomatoes, and all the seasonings. Bring it up to a simmer and let it work itself into a wonderfully rich chili. I add a can of beans and chili peppers toward the end, and then I’ll thicken it up with a slurry of masa harina and water.
TIP: Masa harina is a super fine textured corn flour that is used to make tortillas and tamales, etc. I love to mix it with water, just like you would do with cornstarch, and use it to thicken up my chili. I always have a bag in the cupboard, and it’s essential if you want to make your own homemade tortillas. I also make Masa Harina Biscuits that are unbelievably tender. Look for it next to the corn meal in your supermarket.
Personally, I don’t need 3 kinds of meat in any one meal, but I made this to tempt my husband, who usually turns up his nose at chili for dinner. I love to usher in Fall with a big bowl of comforting chili, so this recipe was created to make us both happy. Feel free to reduce the meat if it suits you.
TIP: Toppings matter! I grew up in a house where chili was just a plain brown stew (no offense, mom!) But now I’m in the more is better camp when it comes to chili garnishes. Cheese, sliced green onion, olives, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, crushed corn chips…pile it on!
other fabulous chilis
- Chili Mac and Cheese
- Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Slow Cooked Hatch Pepper Chili
- Filet Mignon Chili with Masa Biscuits
- Spicy Chili with Cornmeal Biscuits
Meat Lovers Chili
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot
- 12 ounce bottle of your favorite beer
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste from a tube, optional
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp powdered cumin
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp powdered oregano
- 1 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper, more to taste
- 15 ounce can of pinto beans
- 14 ounces fire roasted chilies, chopped (mild or hot)
- 2 Tbsp masa harina
- Heat the oil in a very large, deep skillet or stock pot. Saute the onions in the oil for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Remove to a plate.
- Add the beef to the pan and brown, breaking apart the meat with a fork or spatula into small crumbles while it is cooking. Remove to a plate. Brown the pork the same way and remove to a plate. Remove the sausage from the casings and brown it in the pan, in the same manner as with the other meats.
- Put back the onions, beef, and pork to the pan with the browned sausage and give it all a stir. Add the beer and bring up to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste (if using) bay leaves, cumins, chili powders, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir well, and bring up to a simmer.
- Turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally. After an hour, taste the chili and adjust any of the seasonings. Add the beans and chilies to the pot. Dissolve the masa harina in 1/4 cup of water, and stir it into the chili. Gently simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the chili to adjust the salt or any of the other seasonings. At this point you can serve it, or let it cool for an hour off the heat, and then refrigerate until ready to serve. You can do this up to 24 hours ahead if you like.
- Serve with plenty of toppings!
- My husband has the habit of putting corn chips at the bottom of the bowl before he ladles in his serving of chili. I used to think it was odd, but once I tried it, I was hooked.
- The alcohol in the beer will evaporate by the end of cooking, leaving just a hint of flavor.