Dark and Smokey Brisket Chili

Brisket Chili-5

It’s been a dry rainy season in Florida so far. It’s a little disappointing, because LORD I’m so sick of sunshine. So, remember when I said that chilis were done until the fall? Complete lie. The gloominess that today’s rain brought (FINALLY!) made me do it! This recipe is a dark and smokey, bean-less chili. I love brisket, usually smoked, but it’s so good in a chili. The chocolate adds to the smokiness and adds some sweet, BUT it’s the sun-dried tomatoes that really add the kick. I did mine in an enameled dutch oven, although you can accomplish this in a roasting pan with lid or just a pyrex with aluminum foil. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes at the end is NOT OPTIONAL. They really balance out the flavors, and without them you’re looking at a chili mired in mediocrity. None of us like mediocrity.

I served this with skillet cornbread and a maple-walnut old fashioned, which you can easily skip or replace with roasted sweet potatoes for a paleo version. This recipe is bean-less but you could easily add a can or two of beans.

Tips on Picking Brisket

There are two cuts of brisket, one is the “flat cut” and one is the “point cut.” I find the flat cut preferable, because the fat sits on top of the brisket, whereas the point cut has more marbling. It’s very easy to separate the fat from the flat cut once cooked thoroughly. Many prefer the point cut because of its marbling. Either are great for this recipe, but make sure the fat cap is in tact. The point cut can take slightly longer to cook to the point of “falling apart.”

Brisket Chili

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2-3 lb brisket (preferably with intact fat cap)
1 can of whole, peeled tomatoes
6-10 6 inch sprigs fresh oregano
2 tbsp canola or coconut oil (or your favorite high heat oil)
kosher salt

Allow your brisket to rest out of the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Once rested, salt both sides. Resting it will allow it to sear faster. Preheat oven to 325F. Heat olive oil in dutch oven (or large skillet) over medium high heat. Place brisket fat side down into pan. Sear with slight pressure to ensure full contact with the pan. (Searing this way first renders some fat for the lean side, plus it puts the fat side up during the slow cook which is key.) After a few minutes, flip and sear fat side up. Remove from heat and add entire can of tomatoes and juice. Add oregano sprigs so that they sit in the liquid. Put into oven and set timer for 3 hours. If meat does not fall apart easily when removed, return to oven for another 30 minutes.


Cooked brisket from above
2 TBSP canola or coconut oil (or your favorite high heat oil)
2 large Vidalia onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1 large poblano pepper diced large
1 green bell pepper diced large
2 red bell pepper diced large
3 small red chilis chopped
2 can diced tomatoes (extra points if they are Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
1/2 c chili powder
2/3 c cumin
1 tbsp cinnamon
5 ounces dark chocolate
2-3 ounces sundried tomatoes

Set brisket aside to cool slightly. In a large sauté pan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions to pan and allow to caramelize. Add all peppers to the pan and let them cook another few minutes. While onions and peppers are cooking, remove fat layer from brisket. Break the brisket apart in dutch oven either pulling with two forks or with a spatula. Add cooked onions and peppers. Turn a burner on low and place dutch oven on burner. Add can of diced tomatoes and all spices, stirring. Cover and find a temperature that allows mixture to simmer very slightly. Once chili is heated, add chocolate and stir. Allow to cook with lid for 1-2 hours to develop flavors. Chop sun-dried tomatoes and set aside. Add these on top of chili once it is plated.


3 thoughts on “Dark and Smokey Brisket Chili

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