Ranchero Style Chili

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• 1 lb. of dried beans (black, pinto, or kidney), pre-soaked for shorter cooking time

• 1 large onion, peeled and halved, 1 1/2 of the onion diced

• 3 bay leaves  

• 1 tablespoon rendered lard, bacon fat, tallow or neutral cooking oil

• 1 pound sirloin, tri-tip, flat-iron or flank steak, cut into large dice 

• 1 pound ground beef

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 packet Larder Meat Co. Chili Seasoning (or 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder with 1/2 teaspoon each cumin, dried oregano and smoked paprika)  

• 1 8oz. can tomato paste 

• 1 28oz. can of chopped tomatoes

• 2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock 

• 1/4 cup masa harina corn flour

• 1/2 cup of water 

• Crumbled Queso Fresco, chopped green onions, cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips (Taco Works brand are our favorite!) and lime wedges (for serving)

• Kosher salt, to taste (optional)



  1. Add the beans, half onion and bay leaves to a large sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 2 hours (depending on the beans you use, check after an hour).

  2. Begin the chili base while the beans simmer.

  3. Heat a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven and add the tablespoon of rendered fat or cooking oil and heat until the fat is shimmering.

  4. Sauté the chopped beef in the hot oil until slightly caramelized.

  5. After the beef is sautéed push the beef to one side, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Remove the beef and onions and reserve in a small bowl.

  6. Begin adding the ground beef to the pot a small amount at a time so as to not crowd the pot (add more fat if needed). Try to brown the beef on at least 2 sides.

  7. Push the beef to one side of the pot and add the garlic. As soon as you smell the garlic, begin breaking the beef up with the back of a wooden spoon, incorporating the garlic into the ground beef.

  8. Add the chopped steak, onions, and the chili seasoning to the pot and mix into the beef, then add the tomato paste and mix to combine.

  9. Add the canned tomatoes and 2 cups of stock, mix to combine.

  10. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low while the beans cook, stirring occasionally. Check the simmering mixture occasionally and if it seems to be getting too dry, add a half cup of water or more stock to the mixture.

  11. In a small bowl mix the masa harina with the 1/2 cup water, mixing with a fork. Add to the chili/beef/tomato mixture and mix well to combine.

  12. When the beans are tender, incorporate them into the ground beef mixture and simmer for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to incorporate.

  13. Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt if desired. Serve with the crumbled queso fresco, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and chips.

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