Southwest Chili from Albuquerque, NM

Al Smith


I lived in Albuquerque for 17 years. It is high desert and has the highest elevation of any major US city, 6700 ft at the Sandia foothills. This recipe is for real chili in the New Mexico sense. It does not contain beans. Beans absorb the flavors intended for the meat and broth. Also some people have gastric issues with beans. But I always serve a pot of Pinto beans on the side, plain or seasoned, starting from dried beans. This recipe is very hot.


★★★★★ 2 votes

1 Hr
2 Hr 30 Min


  • 5 lb
    clod roast (or lean chuck or top round) cut into 1/4 to 3/8-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    7 cloves of minced garlic
  • 10 Tbsp
    peanut oil (or kidney suet)
  • 3 1/2 c
    onions, finely diced, (4 or 5 spanish)
  • 1/2 c
    3 -ounce bottle chili powder
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp
    ground cumin (1/3 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp
    oregano, fresh
  • 1 Tbsp
    brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp
    crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 oz
    can of green chilis or seeded, finely chopped,
  • 15 oz
    1/2 can of tomato sauce, 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 15 oz
    can of beef broth
  • 1 tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 12 oz
    chicken broth (or beef broth)
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2 small
    chocolate, dove squares
  • 1 1/2 oz
    shot of tequila (optional)
  • 1
    optional: 1 or 2 poblanos, seeded and sliced

How to Make Southwest Chili from Albuquerque, NM


  1. Saute meat with half of garlic in 5 tablespoons oil until browned, after browning go for 5 more minutes, then go for 2 more minutes.
  2. Saute onion separately in remaining 5 tablespoons oil until tender but not browned.
  3. Add onion to meat, than add chili powder, oregano,brown sugar, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper if using. Simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add green clili, beef broth, tomato sauce/tomato paste, cayenne to taste, beer,(and if using Tequila and 2 sliced poblano chilis).
  5. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is very tender but not mushy. Chili will be soupy at first then thicken as cooks.
  6. Note: Do not skim off excess grease while it cooks. It is necessary for flavor.
  7. Uncover for last half hour. Add cumin, chocolate (2 small squares)and vanilla. Stir frequently and do not allow chili to stick to pot.
  8. Add beer or water as needed. When finished cooking, skim off any excess grease. Makes 1 gallon or 12 to 16 servings.
  9. Suggestions: Serve with pinto beans, Indian fry bread, corn bread, or browned corn tortllas.
  10. Toppings: chopped green onions, chopped Haas avocado, shredded mild cheddar, sour cream (or creme fraiche).

Printable Recipe Card

About Southwest Chili from Albuquerque, NM

Regional Style: Mexican

Show 11 Comments & Reviews

21 Go-To Honey Garlic Recipes

21 Go-To Honey Garlic Recipes

Honey garlic is one of our favorite go-to flavor combinations. Not only because it is delicious, we usually have the ingredients on hand. Perfect for a weeknight meal, these easy honey garlic recipes come together quickly and please the whole family’s taste buds. No matter what you have on hand – chicken, salmon, shrimp, pork, […]

12 Lovely Coffee Cake Recipes

12 Lovely Coffee Cake Recipes

Perfect with your morning coffee or as a treat after dinner, coffee cakes are one of our favorite indulgences. Sweet, heavenly, and full of flavor, coffee cakes are a great go-to for family get-togethers or a random Sunday. Grab a slice and get ready to enjoy!

10 Savory & Sweet Cheese Ball Recipes

10 Savory & Sweet Cheese Ball Recipes

Cheese balls are back! This classic appetizer from the 1960s and ’70s has made a resurgence in the past few years. And, we’re here for it! Made with a few ingredients, they make a tasty party appetizer or can easily be whipped-up when looking for a snack. Typically, cream cheese is the base of a […]