Posted February 27, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Recipes

How to Make New Mexico Red Chili: A Step by Step Guide

I typically make all my chili with beans, just to have a thicker chili consistency. After cruising the cooking section at Barnes and Noble today I decided it was time to develop another version of my chili sans beans. Having picked up a few cook books also inspired me to be a little more creative in my chili endeavors. Below is a step by step guide to making my New Mexico Red Chili, ENJOY!


  • 3-4 lbs of beef sirloin
  • 1/4 lb of Peppered Bacon
  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 2 cans Tomatoe Paste
  • 1 Large Red Onion
  • 3-5 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 3-5 Habanero Peppers
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsps Minced Garlic
  • 4 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Oil
  • 2 Tbsps Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Powdered New Mexico
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Powdered Hot New Mexico
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Tbsps Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lime
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grated)

Step One: Chopping the onion
Step 1: Chopping the Onion
Step Two: Chopping the Peppers

1 Large Green Bell Pepper
Chopping the Large Green Bell Pepper

Remove the stem and the seed from the green bell pepper and chop into small pieces.

3-5 Jalapenos
Chopping the Jalapenos
Remove the stem and the seeds from the jalapeno peppers and chop into small pieces.

3-5 Habaneros
Chopping the Habaneros
Remove the stem and the seeds from the habanero peppers and chop into small pieces.

Putting all the Peppers Together
All the Peppers Together
While you are cutting up the peppers, it’s a good idea to start cooking the bacon in a large skillet w/ the 1 Tbsp Corn Oil. The bacon in this recipe is used only for it’s grease & flavor. Cook the bacon until brown and then remove all the bacon meat and reserve the remaining oil for the beef.

Step Three: Beef Sirloin
Beef Top Sirloin: Cubed
Make sure you use quality meat for this chili, the flavor will really be jeopardized if the meat isn’t in line with the rest of the ingredients. I picked up 3.5lbs of Top Sirloin from the butcher the morning before making the chili. Cut the meat into 1″ cubes, and then season with salt and pepper.
Brown the Meat
Browning the Top Sirloin
Using the skillet with bacon grease, brown the meat in small batches.
Browned Top Sirloin
When browned, your Top Sirloin should look like this. As each batch is browned, remove that batch from the skillet and place in a bowl for later use.

Step Four: Dry Ingredients
Dry Seasonings
While your meat is cooking, combine all your dry ingredients for use later. Here I’ve combined:

  • 2 Tbsps Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Powdered New Mexico
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Powdered Hot New Mexico
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

Step Five: Cooking the Veggies
Cooking the Veggies
Once all the meat has been cooked, place the onion, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and habanero peppers in the skillet, without draining the grease. Fry the veggies until they are soft and then add in the minced garlic.
Adding in Minced Garlic
Once you’ve added the garlic, cook the veggies for a few minutes longer and then remove from heat.

Step Six: Putting it all together
Take the beef broth, the crushed tomatoes, the tomato paste and the dry ingredients that we previously combined and bring to a boil in a large soup pot. To this add your meat and the pile of cooked vegetables. When adding the meat, add in all the juices that have accumulated in the bowl as well. Same for the vegetables, add in the remaining oil in the skillet.
New Mexico Red Chili
Once all the ingredients have been combined, you should take notice of the brilliant colors in the chili. The green peppers, the red onions and the orange habaneros can still be identified. Once this chili cooks, each of these bright colors will become a part of the chili’s overall color. Let the chili cook on low for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, add in your juice from 1/2 the lime and the 2 tbsps of cilantro, stirring throughly. Garnish you bowls of chili with some sharp cheddar cheese and we’re done!

Step Seven: The Finished Product
New Mexico Red Chili
New Mexico Red Chili

This chili, as it’s cooking, has an incredible smell. The cinnamon and bay leaves add an entirely new flavor dimension and really bring out the flavors of the cumin and the peppers. When eating the chili, take the time to identify each level of flavor, and once you get a bit of habanero, your sinuses will clear out and allow you to enjoy the flavors even more! Now, with all of the ingredients, including the beef, the total cost of this pot of chili is just under $40. That includes the purchasing of all the dry ingredients that we will be able to use more of later. This batch of chili will serve about 10-12 bowls, so your looking at less then $3.50 a meal. Not too shabby.

Nick Lindauer

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