Bex’s Chili with Beef, Beans & Hominy

chile con carne Bex

This chili with two kinds of beef is on repeat request in the home of Bex Streeper, one of our favorite cooks of Puerto Rican–Mexican traditional dishes. What makes it different from any other chili recipe submitted to our Familia Kitchen’s Chile con Carne Recipe Contest is its use of two kinds of beans (surely breaking all kinds of laws in Texas) and, most surprising, hominy!

”Every fall, my family requests this chili weekly, on what we call our Thursday chili nights,” says Bex, who grew up in Chicago in a Puerto Rican-Polish family and married into a family with a Mexican heritage. Her cooking marries the traditions of both destinations, deliciosamente.

”I have spent years crafting my chili con carne recipe,” says Bex. ”Growing up in Chicago, there were so many kinds of Midwest chilis, but they never made an appearance in our household. It wasn’t until I moved to Iowa that I experienced obsession with chili. There are countless chili cookoffs, where locals showcase their best chili recipes, which are often chock full of tomatoes, beans, celery, and maybe some chili powder. This is the genesis of my quest to make great chili con carne.”

The First Inspiration of Bex’s Chili

Bex’s chili recipe is inspired by the Mexican family food traditions of her mejor amiga growing up. ”I gained my appreciation and love of authentic Mexican cuisine from my high school bestie’s mom, Candy Elliott. Candy learned to make authentic Mexican comida from her suegra in Zacatecas, Mexico.”

That Zacatecan cooking knowledge made its way into Bex’s kitchens in Chicago and now Iowa. ”She introduced me to some of my favorite dishes such as pozole and enchiladas. That led to the base of my chile recipe, my salsa roja, which I make the traditional way. I toast chiles and spices on my comal.”

For the next phase of Bex’s chili education, she hit the books. ”I began researching the history of chili. I read about the famed San Antonio chili queens, the Aztecs, jailhouse chili, and of course cowboys. I devoured everything I could find regarding its history. I brought this research forward into this recipe. It includes using nuggets similarly to how cowboys used what was left of their coffee in their chili, as well as chunks of beef.”

Bex did make one major change—which her family loves. ”My chili evolved away from the Texas tradition of no beans. I started adding beans and hominy—which gives my recipe a stick-to-your-ribs feeling!”

When ready to eat, don’t forget the garnishes, she says. “I normally serve this chile with my homemade corn muffins and queso for topping.” 

For more of Bex’s Mexican-inspired recipes, check out her sopes with carne asada with 3 types of salsa, ”shrimp ceviche,” and her guacamole with pico de gallo.

Ready to Make Bex’s Family-Famous Chile con Carne?

Bex’s Chile with Beef, Beans & Hominy

Recipe by Bex Streeper Cuisine: Mexican

8 to 10

Prep time


Cooking time




  • The Chili Con Carne
  • 2 Tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1/4 c 1/4 sofrito seasoning base (recipe below)

  • 1 lb 1 ground beef

  • 1 packet 1 sazón (1.4 oz)

  • 1/8 cup 1/8 freshly ground coffee

  • 1 lb 1 stew beef

  • 2 Tbsp 2 masa harina

  • 2 cups 2 salsa roja (recipe below)

  • 30 oz 30 beans (Bex uses 1 can of black and 1 can of pinto)

  • 25 oz 25 hominy (1 can)

  • 1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 salt, or to to taste

  • The Sofrito Seasoning Base
  • 1 1 bunch cilantro

  • 1 1 green bell pepper

  • 1 1 red bell pepper

  • 2 2 aji dulces

  • 10 to 12 cloves 10 to 12 garlic (1 head)

  • 1 large 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • The Salsa Roja
  • 4 4 guajillo chiles

  • 2 2 ancho chiles

  • 1 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 cumin

  • 8 8 allspice berries

  • 8 8 black peppercorns

  • 2 2 cloves

  • 1 1 bay leaf

  • 1 1 onion, quartered

  • 2 Tbsp 2 vegetable oil

  • 6 cups 6 water

  • 1 tsp 1 salt, or to taste

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic


  • In a Dutch oven set to medium heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  • Add the sofrito (see recipe, below) and simmer until fragrant.
  • Add the ground beef and let it brown, stirring from time to time until it is all cooked.
  • Drain and remove the ground beef from the Dutch oven and reserve.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1 packet of sazón and the freshly ground coffee to make a dredge. (Bex uses the burr grinder on her espresso machine to ground her coffee beans.)
  • Toss the stew beef in the seasoned dredge. Set aside.
  • In the same Dutch oven you used for the ground beef, still on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. In batches, add the dredged and seasoned stew meat to brown, stirring occasionally.
  • When the stew beef is browned, return the ground beef to the Dutch oven. Stir both types of beef together.
  • Sprinkle the masa harina over the meat until coated and cook out the “raw” taste
  • Add the salsa roja (see recipe below). Stir.
  • Add the beans and hominy. Stir.
  • Let the chili simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and salt accordingly. It is ready.
  • To Make the Sofrito Seasoning Base for Your Beef
  • Start off by rough-chopping the yellow onion. Remove the seeds from the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and the ají dulces. Chop the bell peppers.
  • Place the chopped ingredients into a large food processor or blender.
  • Break apart the garlic head and place its peeled cloves into the food processor or blender. Add the cilantro leaves. Pulse until everything is blended together. It’s ready.
  • To Make the Salsa Roja for Your Chili
  • Rinse the chiles, rip off the stems, and discard their seeds.
  • Toast the chiles about 5 minutes on a medium-high comal or cast iron pan.
  • In a large saucepan, add the two types of chiles, water, salt, onions, spices, and onion. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Discard the cinnamon stick.
  • Transfer the chiles and 3 cups of the chile liquid to a blender. Add 1 tsp of salt and the garlic. Blend until smooth.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. When hot, pour the blended salsa back into the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. It is ready to use in your chili.
  • To Serve
  • To serve this chili, set out bowls with your choice of garnishes. These can include: chopped red onions, sliced scallions, sliced jalapeños, diced avocado, shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, and hot sauce.


  • Bex recommends serviing her chil con carne with fresh corn muffins and your go-to garnishes. Her favorites are queso and hot sauce.
chile con carne Bex
These chunks of beef dredged in sazón and freshly ground coffee are key to making Bex’s killer chili con carne.
chile con carne Bex
Bex adds masa harina to the beef in her chili to give it body and texture.

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