Paleo Chili

Writer and Photographer Kyndra Kelly

My grandfather has been making this chili every winter for as long as I can remember. It’s a staple in my household now, as it’s the perfect hearty chili for meat lovers! It keeps very well in the refrigerator and tastes better a day or two after it is made.


  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound pork chorizo
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (or to-taste)
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 32-ounce container beef bone broth
  • 1 26-28-ounce carton or can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 green jalapenos, slit lengthwise 3 times each, but left whole
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon yellow cornmeal, optional


Drizzle olive or avocado oil in large pot over medium heat. Brown meat in very small batches so it browns nicely rather than boiling. Make sure the ground beef and chorizo are evenly broken up. This step is very important. Store each batch on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Sauté onions in the accumulated oil until they begin to soften (2-3 min). Add garlic. Sprinkle chili powder and add the rest of the ingredients except the cornmeal.

Stir well and add the meat back to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for least 2 hours, and preferably for 4 hours. Stir occasionally, skimming off surface fat, if desired. With one hour left of cooking time, add the cornmeal if extra thickening is desired.

Before serving, discard the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and jalapenos. Garnish with sour cream, cheese, cilantro or green onions if desired.

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