A Perfect Cold-Weather Meal

This one-pot meal warms the bones when the weather won't cooperate, and is a great make-ahead dish for offshore passages.
Meat-Eaters No-Bean Chili Lynda Morris Childress

During the many winters of living aboard our Tayana 58, Scaramouche, along the US East Coast, the ­weather often kept my husband and me hunkered down belowdecks. On cold days, a hearty stew was just the ticket for a warming, stick-to-your ribs dinner. This one-pot meal is also a great make-ahead dish for ­offshore passages when chilly nights are forecast. The recipe, which will please the meat-eaters in your crew, is real chili con carne—chili with meat, beans optional. This version is the captain’s ­preference: no beans! This is best made in a pressure cooker, but if you have time and a good propane supply, it can be slow-cooked in the oven at very low heat. Ultimately, the fuel use is worth it. This makes two or three hearty meals for two. It keeps for several days refrigerated, and it also can be frozen for future enjoyment.


  • 1 1/2 lb. stew beef
  • 1 1/2 lb. stew pork
  • 2 tsp. sesame (or olive) oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large peppers, red and yellow, cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, cut in 1/2- inch dice 
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer
  • 1 16-ounce jar salsa
  • About 30 corn tortilla chips, broken into small pieces
  • 2 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce), chopped, or to taste*
  • 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce, or to taste*
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin *can be omitted if you don’t like spicy chili
  • Toppings: Grated cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, sour cream, and diced avocado or guacamole.

Serves 4 to 6

Cook’s Note: If you have a slow cooker, ­follow directions for a stew recipe.


Cut meat into 1/2 -inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss meat with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Brown meat in batches in pressure cooker or a large Dutch-oven pot, and set aside. Add the peppers and onions to the pot, and saute lightly; don’t brown. Add the beer, and deglaze the pot. Return meat to pot, and add salsa, tortilla chips, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, chili powder and ground cumin. Stir to combine. Bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. If using a pressure cooker, lock pressure-cooker lid in place, and bring pot to high pressure. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. If you’re slow-cooking the chili in the oven, preheat to 300 to 325 degrees F and transfer pot to oven. Slow-cook, covered, for 3 to 4 hours, or until meat is fork tender. Check during cook time, and add water to moisten if needed. The tortilla chips melt to form a very thick sauce. Serve hot, in bowls, either plain or over rice, with your favorite toppings or sides. 

Preparation: At anchor 
Time: 1 to 4 hours, depending on cooking method 
Difficulty: easy