This chili is a favorite of my steak lovers: strips of sirloin steak, soft black beans and a spicy kick from an jalapeño or two, all surrounded by a rich tomato sauce.  While my kids always like my mother’s recipe for chili (post to follow), if I want to make something special, this is the chili I make.

Steak and Black Bean Chili

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into small strips
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes (or 1 28oz can if unavailable)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 pound black beans, cooked, or 2 cans rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • optional toppings:  grated cheddar cheese, jalapeño rings, sour cream/yogurt


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat; when warm, add the oil and let that heat up (but not to the point of smoking)  and add the sirloin. Cook just enough to have the pink go away (but not longer).  Remove the meat onto a plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the pan.  Cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the jalapeño, tomatoes, broth, beans and spices and salt.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.  Add back the sirloin and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Serve immediately with toppings as desired

Lessons Learned/Advice:

  • I’ve played a little with the spicing. The original recipe called for 4 jalapeños but this seemed too much.  But if you like it hot, add another jalapeño or two. Leaving the seeds in will also make it spicier.
  • I admit that the original recipe calls for fresh tomatoes but I’ve always used canned. That said, I now try and use local tomatoes that are preserved in jars.
  • Serve with crusty fresh bread and a side caesar salad.  Great for summer camping/beach trips and also perfect on a cold winter’s night.


Full credit to The Silver Palate authors. I think this recipe came from the Good Times Cookbook but I’m not sure. And thanks to Caelum and Sara for the photo.