beef chili

We have a recipe from Chef John of the Food Wishes video recipe blog – ask him to cook something and he will do his best to make your food wish come true. If you don’t know who he is, click on his profile picture, to see his adoring fans in action! He generously offered to share his recipe and video with us which is useful for both beginner and expert pressure cooks.

Thank you, Chef John, for demystifying pressure cooking with your video and sharing it with us!

Chef John’s Pressure Cooker Beef Chili Colorado
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1-inch cubes
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (10.5-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground corn chips, optional
cilantro and chopped green onions to garnish(transcribed from video)
Brown the beef chuck seasoned with salt and pepper.

Sautee’ onions and garlic in a little bit of vegetable oil over medium-low heat. And when it starts to turn translucent we’re going to add all of our chili powders – I have Ancho, I have cumin, I have Cayanne, I have Chipotle, I have paprika. It is all on the ingredient list. A little bit of dry oregano and I like to stir my chili spices in the hot oil, onions and garlic mixture for a couple of minutes just to wake-up the spice (I love that technique!)

I’m going to add a can of diced tomatoes – the kind with the chilies in it.

I’m going to add my nicely browned beef to the pressure cooker. One can of water, that’s 10oz. I’m going to give that a stir and make sure that’s all mixed really well and here we go!

I’m going to put the lid down and slide it over. You can actually feel it snap into place, very, very simple to use.

Now, once the lid is locked in place we’re going to put that over high heat and we’re going to look for two things. The first is the pressure release on the handle and then the second is going to be that weighted knob in the center of the lid. So it’s on high, you’re going to see little wisps of steam coming out, and then a few more, and then it will get more aggressive, and then it will sounds like something is about to happen. And that’s because, something is about to happen. That little button is going to push up, it’s going to seal, and no more steam is going to come out. Here we go.

Once that happens, we’re still on high, we’re going to pay attention to the center knob which has enough weight to hold it down until the pressure builds up and lifts it off the lid. So we’re going to keep it on high until that thing starts to dance.

Once it starts doing that, we’re going to back down the heat to low, and we want to cook it for about 15 minutes, just like that! Once you turn it down to low, there will still be a little bit of steam coming out, there is a tiny bit of movement to that pressure release – you’re going to make slight adjustments to the heat to keep it right at that level.

Once the cooking time is up. Turn off the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes. And then I just lift up the center knob to let out the rest of the steam. When there is not pressure coming out of the top, it is safe to take off, take the lid off, it will unlock.

Your meat, believe it or not, 15 minutes to fork tender. This would have taken you a couple of hours the traditional way. The Beauty of a Pressure Cooker is really, speed.

Now I like to take this one step further. I like to turn the heat to high [with the lid off] and I like to stir in a spoon or two of finely crushed corn chips to give it just a little tiniest bit of body. I’m going to let that boil for about 5 to 6 minutes just to reduce that sauce a little. And, when it looks like that it’s ready to eat.

Serve this up with rice and beans, a little bit of cilantro, a little bit of chopped onion and man o man is that good!


Photo and Recipe Credit: Food Wishes Blog

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  1. This is very exciting for me! I loooooove chili colorado. Thanks for sharing, I’m hopping over to this blog right now!

  2. I love chef John!
    But why can’t I copy or print the recipe ??

  3. Here is Chef John’s Ingredient list:

    I had to disable copying because of some unsavory characters copying my recipes and posting them somewhere else without attributing me as the author and without my permission. Unfortunately, that extends to every recipe, even Chef John! You should still be able to print this page – though I’m working on a better format so that you can print just the recipe!

    If you still need it in electronic format, please email me at and I can send you the text!


  4. Hi – thanks for this excellent recipe – do you happen to have a recipe for the rice and beans shown? Can they be done in the pressure cooker as well? Thanks in advance.

    Amy in Idaho

  5. How long to cook this with an electric pressure cooker?

  6. Just whipped this up today. I was skeptical when I read through the ingredients, but after downing a shot of bourbon and casting my doubt aside I set forth. I was concerned that ALL the spices were ground and there wasn’t a fresh or whole dried chili pepper anywhere in sight. Well, I am eating my cynical thoughts and words and wiping the last of the mahogany sauce off my chin and lips. This was wonderful! Closest thing to my favorite honest-to-goodness Mexican restaurant serves. Now I need the perfect PC Chili Verde recipe…hint hint. :-)

    The only change I made was adding a tablespoon of agave syrup to the tomatoes and water. I suppose you could use sugar, but I don’t know what the amount would be (agave is sweeter than cane sugar). I find that spicy hot chilis yearn to make love to the sweet agave, and their love child is a sauce with smoothed edges. Trust me. It won’t taste sweet. You won’t detect it. As I wrote, agave simply smooths it out.

    For those who bitch that chili has to have beans, please get over it. If you want chili with beans, then knock yourself out and make it. Or go to the store and buy a can of Dennison’s or Nalley’s. But this here, pardner, is a genuine Texas-style bowl of red and Texans don’t use beans.

    I served steaming bowls sprinkled with cilantro and green onion, then sidled them up with warmed up tortillas, diced avocado and a drizzle of Mexican crema (runny sour cream).

    Once again, Laura, thanks for providing fabulous recipes for the pressure cooker.

    1. John deserves all of the credit – in some cases dried spices preform better than fresh in the pressure cooker. This is one of those cases so glad to read you ejoyed it.



  7. John rocks! Does he post other recipes?

    1. You might want to check out his blog. It is linked in the first line of the text above. Immediately after the picture.

  8. Got it. Thanks.

  9. This chili Colorado was very tasty and had a really nice kick to it, the hotter the better for me, but why add so much water? Way too watery, not thick like I was expecting.

    1. A pressure cooker needs a minimum amount of liquid in order to reach and maintain pressure.
      The exact amount varies from model to model. Most electrics need 1.5 cups. Some older models need even more. Others, like my Kuhn Rikon need much less. My guess is that was the minimum for John’s pressure cooker.

      If and only if your pressure cooker needs less water, you can reduce the quantity of water in the recipe. Otherwise, you will need to reduce the mixture afterwards.

  10. I had a 2 pound chuck roast and was not in the mood to cut it into cubes so I browned the whole thing and followed the rest of the recipe. I cooked the roast for 50 minutes in an electric pressure cooker letting the pressure come down naturally. As for liquid, just the can of diced tomatoes with chilis and maybe an 8th of a can of water. Most of my Indian and Latino friends who have been using pressure cookers all their lives say we use much too much liquid and I have found that they are right. If your pressure cooker is stove top keep it cooking at the lowest possible temperature that keeps the regulator barely rocking.
    The roast? Unbelievably tender and delicious, Rice and salad as accompaniment.

  11. Would be nice to know when to add the onion/ chili mix.

  12. To Cindie Webb —
    This may help to clarify. Here’s my rewrite of the instructions. By the way, this is an absolutely wonderful chili. Make sure your cayenne, chili powder, chipotle, and paprika are super fresh. No older than 6 months. Trust me. Pepper oils don’t age well.


    Dry off the beef. Season the cubes with salt and pepper. In the pressure cooker, over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Brown the cubes of beef in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) then scoop out each batch to a waiting bowl.

    Turn heat to medium-low. Add a skosh more oil, then sauté onions. When onions begin to turn translucent, add the garlic. Stir until garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    In a small bowl combine the ancho powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, black pepper and cayenne.

    Shove onions and garlic to the side of the cooker and drizzle in a bit more oil on the bare metal. Sprinkle spices into the oil and cook the spices for a few minutes. They really bloom in flavor when cooked in oil. Stir into the onions to coat.

    Add the diced tomatoes and water and, if using, agave syrup. Then return browned beef cubes and their juices. Stir until well mixed and coated.

    Cover and lock the lid and set dial for high pressure. Bring to boil over high heat. When the pressure indicator rises and is solidly erect for 15 seconds, reduce heat to medium to medium-low (gas stoves, setting depends on your burner’s output), maintaining enough heat to hold high pressure. Cook for 15 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker sit unopened for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then release the pressure (turn knob to ‘steam release’ symbol). When the cooker finishes releasing all the pressure (the pressure indicator drops), unlock and remove lid.

    With the lid removed, turn up the burner to high. Stir in a spoon or two of finely crushed corn chips and boil the chili for about 5 to 6 minutes, reducing the sauce a little. When it reaches preferred thickness, serve.

    Garnish with cilantro leaves and green onion.

    (Absolutely lovely when served over a bowl of creamy polenta)

    1. Thank you, Michele!!



  13. This has become one of my all-time favorites.

    The only change I have is to do longer than 15 minutes, especially with an insta-pot. 30 minutes results in fall-apart tender meat and you don’t have to trim the meat as much because all that fat melts away.

    Also, if you’re out of ancho chili powder, I find replacing with 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder works great.

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