Carnivore Dreams – Garbage Can Chili


Garbage Can Chili with Leftovers




The benefits of a nutritious soup cannot be equaled and it is always a welcome addition to camp—in this case, it’s soup with a kick, of course. Remnants of onion, celery and green pepper (and other leftovers) should escape the garbage can and make a nutritious and healthy stew.  Ground beef is always fine in a pinch, but real chili should be made without beans and with cubed beef.  Round steak is an economical way to pull this off and I normally have beef tips of some kind frozen in my freezer.  You can cut back on simmer time if you use a more tender sirloin cut.  In our family, heat (in terms of spice) always improves a meal and I add it to soups of all types, but if you choose there are ways to mellow that out a bit with a bit less chili powder, no cayenne.  I never recommend leaving out a fresh jalapeno or serrano if you have one around because the flavor can’t be duplicated with dry spices. Be sure to remove seeds, though, if spice is an issue.   This recipe will warm your heart.




  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (or avocado oil), divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped (see NOTES for spice variations)
  • 1 large rib celery, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, core removed and chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds bottom round steak, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (without salt)
  • 1 cup broth or stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)


14 – 16” oven


Simmer -3 hours (regular briquettes will last one hour and fifteen minutes so they will need to be replaced halfway through cooking process).  Of course if you have a regular campfire going, find a spot where chili simmers but does not cook too hot, and hang it from a tripod or stick the pot on the grate.


Brown meat in the olive oil.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Add onions, celery, peppers, green chili and garlic cloves and cook until onions are translucent.  Add chili powder, oregano, paprika, pepper, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves, cumin, sugar, cinnamon.  Add sirloin, tomatoes, and stock back into oven and simmer approximately three hours.

Serves 6

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