Close up of ladle scooping up Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Chili
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4.86 from 55 votes

Shredded Beef Chili Con Carne

Recipe video above. My signature Chili recipe, made with pulled beef! The sauce has richer, more complex flavours that you can never achieve using ground / mince beef like traditional Chilli Con Carne. If you're out of time, skip browning the beef - then it's a 5 minute prep job, "set and forget". Freezes exceptionally well.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Beef, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Western
Keyword: Chili, Chilli Con Carne, Pulled Beef Chili, Shredded Beef Chilli Con Carne, Slow Cooker Chili
Servings: 12 - 15 servings
Calories: 401kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


Beef Browning

  • 2kg / 4lb beef chuck roast (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp EACH salt and pepper

Flavour Base

  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 onions , diced (brown, yellow, white)
  • 1 large red capsicum/bell pepper , seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) beef broth/stock (or water)


  • 800g / 28oz canned red kidney beans , drained (2 x 400g/14oz cans)
  • 800g/28oz crushed tomato
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup (250 ml) beef broth/stock

Homemade Chili Spices (Note 2)

  • 1 tbsp EACH cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika (or plain paprika)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper , or to taste (spiciness)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Sauce Thickener

  • 3 tbsp cornflour / corn starch
  • 1/4 cup (65ml) beef broth/stock or water


Brown Beef (Note 2)

  • Cut the beef into four equal sizes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1/2 the oil in a heavy based skillet over high heat. Brown beef well all over - about 1 1/2 minute on each side, then remove onto a plate.

Saute Aromatics

  • Add a touch more oil if needed.
  • Add the garlic, onion and capsicum (bell peppers) and saute until caramelised, around 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup beef broth, bring to simmer, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve brown bits into the liquid. Simmer for 30 seconds then scrape it all into the slow cooker.

Slow Cook!

  • In the slow cooker, add the beans, tomato, tomato paste, beef broth and Chili Spices. Stir, then add beef - it won't be fully submerged, beef juices will raise liquid level (see video).
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove beef from slow cooker and shred with two forks.

Thicken Sauce

  • Mix cornflour and 1/4 cup beef stock, then pour into slow cooker. Add beef, then slow cook for a further 20 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve

  • Serve with garnishes of choice, such as sour cream, guacamole or diced avocado, grated cheese, coriander/cilantro. Serve either with corn chips or cornbread for dunking, or serve over rice!


1. Beef - beef chuck is ideal, it's marble with fat so it's juicy and it shreds well. Boneless beef short rib is also ideal - beautifully juicy and also shreds well (slightly stringier than chuck).
Other cuts that work:
  • Brisket will also work but it's leaner
  • Bolar blade roast - quite a lean cut but will work great, add 1 hour to cook time
2. Homemade Chili Powder - Chili Powder as sold in the US is a mix of spices. The flavour differs from brand to brand and also it's not readily available outside the Sites. So I prefer to make my own - more consistent flavour outcome of the dish.
3. Searing the beef adds extra flavour as well as helping to seal the juices in the beef. But it's an optional step - skip it to save time, just place everything in the slow cooker Still super delicious!
4. Other cook methods:
  • Stove & oven - Add 1 cup water and simmer covered for 2.5 hours on low heat, or 3 hours (covered) in the oven at 160C/320F. Adjust sauce quantity at end with water if needed (depends how much evaporation there is which depends on how heavy your pot lid is)
  • Pressure cooker / instant pot - 60 minutes on high
5. Storage - leftovers keeps 100% perfectly in the fridge for 4 - 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months (thaw then reheat).
6. Nutrition per serving, Chili only (no toppings)


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 825mg | Potassium: 1036mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 5mg