Harissa Steak Chili

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Hi. How are you? I really want to know…so tell me, I’m all ears. And how’s your weekend going? It’s still happening you know…we’ve got hours more to go. Are those brow furrows a little lessoned? Did you get to relax, make pancakes and walk around in socks? No? Well that’s how you should spend the rest of the evening. I insist. Go put some socks on, we’ll wait. My weekend involved equal parts pizza and wine. There might have been a couple of naps shoved in there too. Not gonna apologize about that.

However, I do feel that I owe you an apology for something else… I’ve been hitting the sweets a little hard over here. Our pants are getting tight, aren’t they? That’s what I thought. I’ve been neglecting our need for weeknight dinners. Quick + easy weeknight dinner. Scratch that, we actually need quick + easy + healthy weeknight dinners. Perhaps something that involves a slow cooker. I like the premise of an appliance that I can shove a bunch of stuff in, leave and then come back to a complete meal. I’m all in. Sometimes a dozen cookies as soon as you get home from work isn’t enough. I know, it’s a cruel world.

This is my go-to weeknight chili recipe. It’s so easy, so delicious and I think it’s pretty healthy. Your iron levels are certainly going to rocket off the charts…cardio the next day will be a breeze…all that oxygen coursing through your veins. I’m kidding. I have no idea what I’m talking about. Let’s talk about chili.

Before We Get Started

  • I give instructions below for both stovetop and slow cooker chili. However, if you use your stovetop, it’s no longer that quick meal we were dreaming about  as it will need to simmer for several hours and that makes it a little needy. You could hypothetically start it in the morning, shove it in the fridge and then finish cooking as soon as you get home from work. Just a thought.
  • I love to make this with leftover meat. So on Monday night I’ll have steak for dinner and then on Tuesday night I’ll make chili with the leftover meat. I also like to use leftover tri tip. Yum. If you don’t have leftover meat then I would just brown your meat in a hot pan on the stove first, and then throw it in with the chili.
  • Harissa paste…I bought mine on Amazon. I like the heat in it. If you don’t have it, don’t sweat it…you can just omit that ingredient. However, I recommend getting some. Like now. It’ll be your new jazz hands when cooking. (See note below regarding choosing your harissa.)
  • I love making this on Halloween…with Thomas Keller’s cornbread muffins from the Bouchon cookbook. Amazeballs. Think about it.

HARISSA CHILI UPDATE 11/2015: Got my hands on some Mina Green Harissa Sauce and added a spoonful of that in place of the red harissa paste. Hot damn. Delicious. I highly recommend trying. Some photos from that chili making session are directly below. xo

harissa steak chili | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

harissa steak chili | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

harissa + steak chili


  • 1 pound leftover steak or tri-tip or uncooked stewing beef (quickly browned in a hot pan…see note above), chopped into medium chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and small diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon harissa paste (depending on how hot you like things); or a heaping spoonful of the green harissa sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of beer (I use Corona…because it’s what I usually have in the fridge)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve With

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Pickled red onions, recipe here
  • Hot sauce…if you like it really hot
  • And whatever you fancy on your chili…go nuts
  • Copious amounts of beer


  1. Seriously, throw everything in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours and walk away.
  2. If you don’t have a slow cooker…let’s work with your stovetop on this one. Grab yourself a large dutch oven and put it over medium heat. You have two options. First, you could shove everything in there, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and just simmer away for 2 hours and you’re done. Or, you could sauté onions and futz around with stuff like that, but I don’t feel like working that hard today, do you?
  3. We’re done. Load up with your toppings, grab a beer and crawl in bed. This is dinner-in-bed food. It’s a thing.
{ on my mind }
  • The traffic on the 101 has been CRAY.
  • Chicken Talk: one of my chicken’s is broody again. It. Never. Ends. Like hormonal teenagers…that’s all I’m saying.
  • Cool weather is exciting, right? I’m dressing like it’s 20 degrees F out…I’m hot as balls (still) but at least I look cute.
  • I have another recipe for chili…it’s a hearty, meat-lovers extravaganza.
  • You’ll need cookies with this. What about snickerdoodles, breakfast crack cookies or good old chocolate chip? I’ll take a dozen of each, thanks.
  • I know there’s more but I’m a little brain dead from the pizza and wine. That’s a thing too.
  • Have a beautiful week. xo

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