This spicy porter short rib chili is the perfect bowl of comfort food on a cold day. It makes excellent leftovers and you can freeze it for later!

I’ve been a bit obsessed with apple cider donuts this fall. Usually, fall will roll around, I’ll have maybe 3 or 4 for the season and we’ll call it good until next year.

This year, I don’t even want to think about how many have been consumed.

So last weekend my brother and sister in law were visiting and we planned an entire day around hiking + apple cider donuts.

At 10am we pulled up to the base of the mountain we were going to hike, hauled our asses 1 mile straight up to the top, followed my hiking obsessed brother with his gung-ho trail GPS app on his phone around for another 5 miles at the top (only getting lost about 3 times) discussing apple cider donuts and how many we were going to shove in our faces afterwards for about 3 hours.

With every step down the mountain, I could start to taste them in my mouth.

We ate a quick burger lunch in the town nearby and then drove straight to the farm market that I’ve frequented every other weekend this fall for my cider donut fix.

We walked to the back where they keep them and were greeted with a completely empty donut shelf.

My heart sank.

Short rib chili in a white bowl with a spoon topped with sour cream
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Clearly, they had to be making more, 3 pm on an October Saturday and you’re out of donuts?! Blasphemous.

But they weren’t so after a few cursed mumblings from me, I stormed out and declared we were going to the local grocery store/market where they fry them fresh outside because I wasn’t giving up on cider donuts that easily.

We pull in and I can see the guys at the fryer stand….cleaning up for the day.

I run over, take one look in the fryer to see if maybe there were still a few in there and then literally start begging them to make more.

It didn’t work. They ran out of dough.

So instead of donuts, I bought short ribs inside and pouted for the rest of the day.

If ever there were a bright side to running out of cider donuts, it’s this short rib chili.

Spicy short rib chili in a bowl with a large spoon with spaghetti squash

This was one of those recipes where I just decided to wing it, throw it stuff that sounded good together in a pot with absolutely no plan, and pray that it turned out.

I thought at best it’d be something I could share on here after some tweaks except I totally got lucky and nailed it on the first attempt.

You want smoky, cocoa flavored comfort in the form of chili on a cold day?

This is your recipe.

And you’d probably really like this chocolate lamb chili as well!

Cocoa Short Rib Chili made with guinness in a bowl with garnish

Short Rib Chili Ingredients

  • short ribs – boneless
  • oil – extra virgin olive oil
  • veggies: carrots, onion, jalapeño, chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, diced tomatoes
  • spices: salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, hot chili powder, oregano
  • tomato paste and tomato sauce
  • cocoa powder
  • porter/dark beer – Guinness is a good choice.
  • beef broth
  • black beans

How to Make Guiness Short Rib Chili

Season the beef ribs with salt and pepper.

In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and brown the ribs on all sides.

Remove the ribs from the pot.

Add the carrots and onions. Cook just until they are softened.

Toss in the garlic and jalapenos and continue sauteing until fragrant.

Add the tomato paste, seasonings, cocoa powder, and chipotle peppers. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Pour in the beer, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Mix well.

Place the beef ribs back into the pot making sure they are covered and bring to a boil.

Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 to 3 hours until the meat is tender.

Take the pot out of the oven and shred the ribs, then add it back to the dutch oven and cook uncovered over a simmer for another hour. Stir occasionally until the short rib chili has thickened.

Pour in the black beans and serve once it’s warm all of the way through.

Serve with a piece of vegan cornbread for the ultimate comfort food.

Common FAQS

Do I need to trim beef short ribs?

No. This cut of meat is usually pretty trimmed when you purchase. If you see larger chunks of fat that were missed you can cut that off.

Can I use bone-in ribs?

I recommend boneless because there is more meat and often they are more flavorful. Plus you don’t have to worry about digging the bones out.

Storing and Freezing

Once the short rib chili cools, store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze, add it to a freezer safe container or bag to maintain freshness up to 2 months.

If you are going to want chili in single servings, store that way so you don’t have to reheat the whole batch at one time.

To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and heat on the stovetop.

More cozy chili and stew recipes to try out:

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
Spicy Hummus Turkey Chili
Chicken apple cheddar chili
Moroccan Lamb Lentil Stew
Kabocha Squash Chili

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Spicy Porter Short Rib Chili

Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Short rib chili
This spicy porter short rib chili is the perfect bowl of comfort food on a cold day.


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 12 ounces porter/dark beer
  • 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces beef broth
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained


  • Season ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven.
  • Add the meat and brown on all sides.
  • Remove the meat from the pot, place on a dish and set aside.
  • Add the carrots and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cocoa powder and chipotle peppers, mix everything together and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the beer, the diced tomatoes with their juices, the tomato sauce and the beef broth. Stir to combine.
  • Return the ribs to the pot. They should be just covered by the liquid.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to a 325 degree oven.
  • Cook for 2.5-3 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the pot from the oven, remove the meat from the pot to a cutting board and shred using two forks.
  • Return the shredded meat to the pot and simmer uncovered for another hour, stirring occasionally until thickened and the liquid has reduced a bit.
  • Add the beans, stir until warmed through then serve.


Like most chili, this is even better after sitting for a day. If you can resist eating it the day it’s made, wait!


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 799kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 56gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1026mgFiber: 8gSugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soups + Stews
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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    1. That’s spaghetti squash in the pictures. You could serve it with whatever you like though: rice, potatoes, etc…

    1. I wish someone had answered this question about the crockpot. But that’s how I’m making it tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes.