Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pressure Cooker All-Beef Ancho and Anaheim Chili (Low-Carb, Can Be Paleo)

All beef chili with Ancho and Anaheim chile peppers, made in the pressure cooker.

I'm always trying to eat more vegetables and skip the meat, but when a reader asked me on Facebook about a recipe for beef chili without beans, it seemed like a perfect dish to try in my new Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker.  And I was impressed with how only 15 minutes at high pressure produced meat that was falling-apart tender, as if you had cooked it all day in the slow cooker.  When we tested the recipe I liked this best with a generous amount of cheese and sour cream to cool down the spicy flavor from the ground Ancho chiles and diced anaheims, but this Pressure Cooker All-Beef Ancho and Anaheim Chili Can Be Paleo if you eat it without the toppings.  You better make it soon though, because chili-eating days aren't going to be along for much longer, and I couldn't be happier about the warmer weather that's coming!

I looked around online and in my pressure cooker cookbooks, and saw quite a few recipes for all beef chile, but the recipe that influenced me most was Texas-Style Chili from The Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Tori Ritchie. That book has a few other pressure cooker recipes that look good as well.

Trim a 3 pound beef chuck roast and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, trimming most of the fat.  (I save the scraps in the freezer to make homemade beef stock.)

I can't remember where I saw the trick of only browning one side of the meat to keep it moist in the pressure cooker, but that worked well in this recipe.  (This is a gigantic frying pan; you'll probably need to do it in two batches in a normal pan.)  Put the browned meat into the pressure cooker.

Heat a little oil in the pan (yes, I switched to a smaller pan) and saute the onion until it starts to brown.  Then add garlic, Ancho chili, sweet paprika, Mexican oregano, and cumin and cook a minute or two more.  Add the onion spice mixture to the pressure cooker, deglazing the pan with the beef stock.

Add the Ro-Tel tomatoes to the pressure cooker and stir to combine the ingredients.

Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then turn off and let the pressure release naturally.

Here's how it looked when the pressure had released and I took off the lid.  (It was darker than this; shouldn't have taken this photo right by a window.)

Stir in one can of diced green chiles and turn the pressure cooker on to a simmer.

 Let the chili simmer until it's thickened and the flavors are well blended, about 20-30 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice (if using) and serve hot, with grated cheese and sour cream if desired.  

Pressure Cooker All-Beef Ancho and Anaheim Chili
(Makes about 8 servings; recipe adapted from Texas-Style Chili in The Pressure Cooker Cookbookby Tori Ritchie.)

I made this chili in my Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker, but any pressure cooker will work.

3 lb. beef chuck cubes (start with a chuck roast that's about 3 1/2 pounds, trim the fat and cut up)
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 very large onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 T crushed garlic
2 T ground Ancho chile peppers
2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 T ground cumin (or less if you're not a big cumin fan)
1/2 cup homemade beef stock or beef broth
2 cans (10 oz. can) diced tomatoes with green chiles (I used Rotel.)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles with juice (Anaheim chiles)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice (optional, I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
grated Mexican cheese blend for serving (optional)
reduced-fat sour cream for serving (optional)

Trim away the fat from the chuck roast and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.  (I save the scraps to make homemade beef stock.)   Heat two teaspoons of the oil in a large heavy frying pan and brown the meat well on one side only; then add to the pressure cooker.  (You may need to do this in two or even three batches if your frying pan isn't large enough.)

Heat the other 2 teaspoons of oil and cook the onion until it's starting to get browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the crushed garlic, ground Ancho Chile, sweet paprika, Mexican oregano, and ground cumin and cook a minute or two more.  Add the spices to the pressure cooker, then deglaze the pan with the beef stock and add to pressure cooker along with the 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes.

Set or bring to high pressure and cook 15 minutes, letting pressure release naturally when the pressure cooker switches off (or when you turn it off if using stove-top pressure cooker.)  Remove the lid and add 1 can diced green chiles and stir it into the chili.  Simmer on low heat until chili is thickened and flavors are combined, about 20-30 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Stir in lime juice (if using).  Serve hot, with grated cheese and sour cream to add at the table if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
This low-glycemic chili would be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  Remember the South Beach guideline about meat with less than 10% fat when you're trimming the meat, and low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream is recommended by South Beach.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas for the Pressure Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pressure Cooker Soup, Stew, and Chili Recipes from Soup Chick
Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Mexican Beef ~ Nom Nom Paleo
Pressure Cooker Refried Beans with Onions, Garlic, and Green Chiles ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Beef Brisket (pressure cooker, slow cooker, or stovetop) ~ The Perfect Pantry
Pressure Cooker Recipe for Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew with Cumin and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen  
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. Don't you just love how fast the pressure cooks! I love mine. It's actually made me a bit lazy because I know I can throw dinner together in 15-20 minutes if I have to.

  2. Jeanette, I have to confess I am loving the electric pressure cooker far more than I thought I would!

  3. Today's the perfect day to make this since its so grey and about to rain.

    I need to try out pressure cooking. :)

  4. Becky I am loving the electric pressure cooker.

  5. I'm still so new to pressure cooking, so I have to ask: could you brown the meat, etc., in the pressure cooker? Or doesn't that get it brown enough?

  6. Lydia, with three pounds of meat, if you browned it in the pressure cooker you'd have to do it in several batches, so I just opted for a big pan.

  7. Looks like a great meal. Glad you're loving your electric pressure cooker!

  8. Barbara, I am totally loving it! And glad I have your site for help when I need it.

  9. Could I make this in a slow cooker or in a pot on the stove? I supposed the instructions are the same, the cooking time is just extended.

  10. I'm sure it could be made either on the stove or in a slow cooker, but since I haven't done it that way I couldn't give complete instructions for it. In general though, I would use a slightly less liquid for cooking in the slow cooker, and for cooking on the stove you'd need quite a bit more liquid to replace what evaporates. Love to hear how it works if you try it!


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