Mark Bittman’s Favorite Super Bowl Chili Recipe

Mark bittman chili

Let it simmer while you watch the big game, and dig in at half time

Every year the Super Bowl brings us high-profile commercials, halftime show performances, and of course… the big game! But whenever it rolls around, it also gives us an excuse to make a spread of delicious food, like spicy wings, creamy dips, and hearty chili recipes.

We recently talked with Mark Bittman about his latest release about the flaws in America’s food system, and he offered up his favorite game day chili recipe, featured in his book, How to Cook Everything.

Slow-Simmered Beef Chili

Makes: 8 Servings

Chili means different things to different people; this recipe and the chart that follows cover the highpoints. I’ve listed a couple of garnishes I like, but
you might want to add grated cheese, pickled or fresh jalapeños, or sour cream. Serve with tortillas, crackers, chips, or rice, and hot sauce.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into
bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons ground ancho chile or
Chili Powder (to make your own, see
page 32)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
1 small red onion, minced, for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the meat in a single layer (work in batches if the pan is crowded). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the pieces brown and release easily from the pan, about 5 minutes, then stir, and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is well browned, another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the yellow onion and garlic, sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ground chile, cumin, and oregano and stir until fragrant, less than a minute. Add the tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the beans and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the chili bubbles gently but steadily. Cover and cook, stirring once in a while and adding only enough water to keep the beans and meat covered by about an inch of liquid, until the beans and meat are very tender and the flavors have mellowed, at least an hour or up to 2.
  • If the chili is too soupy when the beans are tender, raise the heat, uncover the pot, and carefully let it bubble until thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot, garnished with the red onion and cilantro. (Or refrigerate for several days or freeze for months; reheat gently.

Products you buy through our links might earn us a commission.