This Instant Pot Chili Con Carne makes quick work of a dish that usually takes hours and hours of simmering; meltingly tender cubes of beef in a spice-packed, garlicky chile pepper sauce. This warms you from the inside out and becomes the stuff of legend when topped with Cabot cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, cilantro, and fresh avocado.
6 whole dried chiles (I used half Chiles California/New Mexico and half Chiles Arbol.), stems and seeds removed
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, stems and seeds removed
1 quart low-sodium beef broth or chicken broth
3 pounds beef chuck steak, preferably 1 to 2 inches thick, trimmed of excess gristle and fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed in a garlic press
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons masa (finely ground corn flour)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons soy sauce or fish sauce or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
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Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 1 hr | Total: 1 hr 20 mins
PRESS the Sauté button and then Adjust + once on your Instant Pot. Place the chiles into the open pot, working in batches if needed. When they become fragrant (about 2 minutes) flip them over and repeat. Transfer the chiles to a heat proof bowl. Add the chipotles and broth, cover, and microwave for 3 minutes, or until very hot. Set aside for 5 minutes.
DRIZZLE about a tablespoon of the oil into the Instant Pot. Generously sprinkle both sides of the chuck steak with salt and pepper. Cut in half or quarters if needed to fit into the Instant Pot.
ADD about ⅓ to ½ of the meat into the pot and let it sear, without moving it, for about 5 minutes, or until the bottom is a deep, rich brown. Flip the meat and sear 3 minutes on the second side. Transfer to a cutting board. Add a teaspoon of oil and sear the remaining meat. Transfer this meat to the cutting board as well. Let the meat rest until it is comfortable to handle and slice into 1½- 2 inch cubes.
TRANSFER the chile peppers and the broth to a blender while the meat rests. Remove the vent plug for the blender lid, place a folded paper towel or kitchen towel over it, then hold that in place with the vent plug. Start the blender at the lowest setting and slowly move it up to high, blending until the contents are perfectly smooth, about 1 minute.
PRESS the Adjust - button twice. Add the remaining oil to the pot, then add the onions in with a pinch of kosher salt, stirring to coat evenly. Stir the onions frequently, scraping the bottom of the pot, cooking for about 2 minutes, or until the onions become fragrant and translucent at the edges. As the onions cook, they should release some juices which will help loosen the flavorful browned bits from the pot. Sprinkle the cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves over the onion and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour in the contents of the blender and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any remaining fond. Add the beef cubes along with any accumulated liquid to the pot. Press “Stop”, fix the lid in place, making sure the vent is closed, and set it manually to HIGH for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, release the pressure, and check the beef. If it is done, it will be tender enough to fall apart easily. If it is still somewhat tough, close the lid and set the pot manually to HIGH for another 15 minutes. It may take up to 1 hour of total pressure cooking time to get the beef meltingly tender.
WHEN the beef is very tender, press the Sauté then Adjust+ buttons once again. While stirring, sprinkle the masa over the top of the chili until incorporated. Stir in the vinegar and soy sauce or fish sauce or anchovy paste.
**For the best results, refrigerate this chili for 1 to 3 days before serving. The flavors continue to develop as it sits.
Reheat chili and serve by itself or over cooked rice, topped with Cabot cheese, Cabot Sour Cream, hot sauce, chopped green onions and cilantro, and slices of avocado.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Rebecca Lindamood.