Chile Con Carne

serves 6

Active time: 40 minutes – Start to finish: 2hrs

This recipe is from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Fast and Slow. Very tasty and with a kick. Great for cold and chilly evenings, outdoor bonfires or Super Bowl parties. To round it out as a more balanced meal, it needs some veggie sides.

note: this recipe is for a 6-quart Instant Pot.


  • 3 TBL ancho chili powder (if you cannot find, increase the regular chili powder to ⅓ cup)
  • 2 TBL chili powder
  • 2 TBL packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 TBL ground cumin
  • 1 TBL dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-to-1½-inch chunks trim as much fat as possible
  • 3 TBL grape seed or other neutral oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 TBL tomato paste
  • 14½-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes don’t drain, their liquid is needed
  • 4 chipotle chiles in adobe sauce, finely chopped, plus 3 TBL of the adobe sauce
  • 3 ounces (2 cups) tortilla chips, finely crushed (about 1 cup) don’t skip this, the flour in the tortillas is what helps thicken the sauce
  • serve with shredded cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, chopped cilantro and hot sauce, if desired this is pretty spicy so I skipped the hot sauce and jalapeños


  • To Start
    • In a bowl large enough to hold the beef, stir together both chili powders, the sugar, cumin, oregano and 2 tsp salt
    • Add beef and toss until evenly coated; set aside
    • On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté.
    • Add the oil and heat until shimmering
    • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes
    • Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds
    • Stir in the tomato paste and cooke, stirring, until the tomato paste is well browned, about 3 minutes
    • Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, the chipotle chilies and adobo sauce and 1 cup of water, scraping up any browned bits
    • Add the beef; stir to combine, then distribute in an even layer.
  • Press Cancel, lock the lid of your Instant Pot in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing (my model auto-seals).
  • Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High.
  • Set the cooking time for 50 minutes
  • When pressure cooking is complete, let the pressure to reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting (my model has a steam release button)
  • Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
  • To Finish
    • Using a large spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid
    • Stir in the crushed tortilla chips into the chili
    • Select More/High Sauté and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili is lightly thickened, about 5 minutes
    • Press Cancel to turn off the pot
    • Let stand for 10 minutes, then taste and season with salt no salt needed IMO
Recommended products
Here’s a link for ordering Milk Street Fast and Slow on Amazon. I gave the book a complete read through the day it arrived. Christopher does a fantastic job at explaining all the tricks to using an Instant Pot that I have yet to read anywhere else.
I purchased the Instant Pot Duo Plus from Amazon in early December 2020. With all the cooking I’m doing now, I was looking for ways to create yummy meals that didn’t require as much supervision so that I could chill more in the evenings.
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