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Spicy California Chili


  • 1/2 lb sirloin steak, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (80/20)
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbl tomato paste
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 pasilla chile, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tbl avocado oil (or butter, ghee, bacon fat, etc.)
  • 1 Tbl ground ancho child powder (or smoked paprika)
  • 1 Tbl ground Hungarian paprika (or regular paprika)
  • 1 Tbl ground chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
  • 3/4 to 2 cups water
  • 1 sliced green onion (optional; for garnish)
  • 1 Tbl sour cream (optional; for garnish)
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar or jack cheese (optional; for garnish)


  1. Brown steak in the oil for 3 minutes; add onions and saute for an additional 5 minutes; add carrots and chopped pasilla chile, then add garlic and tomato paste and stir for another minute.
  2. Move contents of the pan to one side and add a little more oil, if needed, in order to toast the spices: chile powders, paprikas, cumin, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomato and add 3/4 cup water to deglaze the pan (deglazing = getting the tasty browned bits off the bottom of your pan and into the chili).
  4. Add salt and pepper and additional water to almost cover all the ingredients. Ideally, simmer on low for 90 minutes or more. However, after about 40 minutes, it will be cooked through – the extra time just helps make the meat more tender and amplifies the flavor of all those spices! Stir frequently and add more water, if needed.
  5. Top with optional garnishes, if desired (see ingredient list, above)

I like spicy food and this chili is that, just as the name of the recipe implies, but you can certainly adjust it to your comfort level of heat. If you are reading the quantities of chile powder and hot paprika and pasilla chile and you are thinking, “oh, no, that’s gonna kill me!” then cut back on the hot stuff. You could substitute a small can of mild green ortega chiles for the fresh pasilla chile (which sometimes aren’t hot at all and sometimes are blazing hot). Pasilla chiles are the really dark green chiles that are traditionally used for chile rellenos, by the way. Another way to cut the heat is to substitute a regular green pepper for the pasilla chile. That being said, don’t be afraid of the generic “chile” powder you get at the supermarket in the spice aisle….it has NO heat. It does have lots of flavor, and you’ll need that. Same goes for the regular paprika; it has no heat. (Hot Hungarian Paprika DOES, however).

Let me know if you try this recipe, and what you think of the taste, if you do! Thanks.

~Carol Anne

This entry was posted in: Recipes


I began following a ketogenic diet in September of 2017 and it took a while to learn a new paradigm for thinking about what constitutes "healthy" food. Now "healthy", to me, means high in animal fats, extremely low in carbohydrates, and containing moderate amounts of protein. It means I use full fat creamers and butter and fatty cuts of meat. It means I don't eat beans every day any more, nor do I scarf down tortillas with my meals. I got really good at finding keto recipes online, following channels on YouTube and making up my own adaptations of my old favorite foods like albondigas and ceviche and pho. It seemed like just when I'd got that kinda mastered, I developed a life threatening allergy to peanuts and all tree nuts. Dang it! That was in January of 2019 and since then I've had to adjust my eating it was back to the drawing board on some of my staple foods like nut butters, Thai curries, keto friendly chocolates that, alas, are manufactured on equipment that also processes nuts, and so on. I started this blog to help myself, and other people facing similar allergy issues.

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