As the football season winds to its conclusion I reflect again on the biggest tragedy of the season. My lack of good chili.

Chili is the perfect accompaniment to a football game. It adds the stopping power of bean fueled gas emissions to the already potent wife repelling power of professional sports. There is nothing like a football game + chili to guarantee an afternoon of manly solitutude in front of the TV.

Here’s my problem. I can’t make good chili. I’ve tried lots of recipes and come up with nothing as good as the canned chili availble in the stores. I’m not a bad cook. Most of my chili attempts have been edible, even mildly tasty, but never quite reaching the levels I desire.

Anyone got any good chili recipes or chili cookin tips they’d like to share?

Oooh, good topic. I love a good bowl of chili, but I don’t know how and have never attempted to make it. Hopefully any recipes here will allow for variances in spice tolerances, so it can be adjusted for different groups of eaters.

I can’t tell you how to make good chili, but I can tell you how to make bad chili. Use lean meat, that will make it taste gawd awful.

My only real advice is to go for ingrediants for taste and don’t even think about health-concious stuff. Get low-grade fatty meats, get the real sharp cheddars with all the milk-fats they natually come with.

Anyone good any good chili recipes or chili cookin tips they’d like to share?

Does the pope shit in the woods?

Here is what you will need. It will cost you about 50 bucks to make the first time when you are buying the spices. After that, ingredients typically run me about 30 bucks or so, depending on sales.

1 - 1.25lbs flank steak
1 - 1.25lbs pork shoulder
cooking spray
olive oil (cheap, not the fancy extra virgin stuff)
two cloves of garlic, minced
one large white onion, coarsely chopped
one large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
one anaheim pepper, chopped
two serrano peppers, sliced
one jalapeno pepper, chopped
four medium tomatoes, chopped coarsely
one cheap ass cup of Cabernet Sauvignon wine
four cans of low salt V8 vegetable juice
one tablespoon black pepper
one tablespoon cumin
one tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste
juice of one half to one lime

OK, so we’ve got lots of chopping to do. Get comfy - it’s gonna take a good hour. I start by putting the meat in the freezer, that lets it firm up while I chop all the veggies.

Then on to the meat - you want to cut this stuff up pretty finely. We’re talking like 1/2" cubes at the largest, and a bit smaller is OK too. Since it’s been in the freezer for a while it’s nice and firm. Personally I use a ton of meat - 1.5 lbs of each type.

So you’ve got all your stuff together. First thing to do is brown the beef - cooking spray goes in frying pan or whatever, beef goes in. When it’s browned set it aside, rinse the pan, and do the same for the pork. You can do this while you’re preparing the other stuff, they should be done before you have to add them to the chili.

So start off with your olive oil in a big ole stock pot. Just use enough to coat the bottom of the pot. I also give the pot a blast of cooking spray so the stuff I’m cooking doesn’t get stuck to the bottom. Anyway, don’t use fancy olive oil - you won’t notice the difference. Heat it up on medium-high heat.

Toss in the onions, garlic, and all the peppers. Cook them together, stirring every 3 minutes for maybe 10 minutes - you’ll know it’s done when the onions are transluscent. Back the heat down to medium, toss the top on, and let that stuff go for another 5 minutes or so.

Next add the tomatoes. Toss them in, stir it up, put the top back on and wait six minutes. You want to let them soften some. Now it’s meat time.

Stir in the beef first - give it a minute or two in the pot before you add the pork. Now you want to mash it all up real good together and give it another few minutes in the pot. Now it’s wine time.

DO NOT use good wine. I made this once and I sent my girlfriend at the time to the store to get the ingredients. She brought along her wine snob pal and they came back with some thirty dollar bottle of cabernet sauvignon. WTF says I. I mean, whatever - I’ll drink the shit, but it’s overkill. You won’t taste the wine at all, it’s just there to bring out the flavor of the meats. Usually I use a Columbia Crest cab sav, it’s almost perpetually on sale at Safeway for six or seven bucks. Anyway, add your wine and let that shit come to a boil.

Now you want to add your veggie juice. Dump it in and kick the heat up to medium high again, and let it come to a good boil.

Next in go the spices. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FUCK IT UP THE EASIEST. Cumin and Chili are both very powerful flavors; just a bit too much and they will totally overpower the entire dish. A tablespoon each will do you fine - you can add a tiny bit more if you like but I never do. Also add your black pepper. Stir everything up real good, back the heat down to low, and your chili is now on its long journey to delicious. You need to let this thing simmer with the top on for about an hour and a half, and you want to come back at random intervals to stir it up. Make sure that the tomatoes are fully mashed up in the first 45 minutes or so.

With about ten minutes to go it’s time to add salt - I can’t say how much, but you’ll need some. Add a little bit at a time and taste. Remember that you can’t take it out once you’ve put it in, so err on the side of caution. Your ungrateful whiny friends can always add more to their bowl if it’s not to their liking (ingrates).

Right before serving this stuff, squeeze in the lime juice.

This is gonna make a lot of chili - you can serve six guys easy with it. It refrigerates just fine - in fact it’s even better after a night in the fridge so if you know you’re going to be having guests go ahead and make this the night before.

Serve this stuff with grated sharp cheddar cheese, and oyster crackers. You can also dice up a red onion and sprinkle it on. I also like to have fresh sourdough bread with my chili.

Some variations:
You’ll notice there’s no beans. That’s because beans are what poor people add to chili when they can’t afford more of the good stuff (meat). Strictly speaking when you add beans it’s not chili any more, it’s soup. That’s a pretty retarded distinction though.

This stuff has a bit of heat, but it’s edible for anyone. If you and your buddies like hot stuff, you can double the amount of peppers (except the bell pepper). Or you can use spicy V-8. Be aware though that spicy V-8 is basically salt, so you will probably not need to add much salt at the end (if any at all). Oh, and you can also go ahead and throw in the seeds from the peppers. That’ll heat it up a bit more too.

I use the steak and pork, but if you want something healthier and a bit cheaper try going with lean ground beef and chicken. It’s really not going to end up that cheaper though, and it’s significantly less awesome.

Beerwise, this is good with Shiner Bock or Negra Modelo. It’s also surprisingly awesome with a nice cold can of Bud (not bud light though).


Metafilter had two threads on this with some very good suggestions. The recipe in the second thread supposedly won a chili cook-off.

PS. Unsweetened chocolate. Always.

Hey jeffd, what’s the consistancy like with that recipe?

I likes me some thick chili.

It’s not all that thick. You can make it thicker by cooking without a lid on the pot.

So Jeff – when are you cooking chili and hosting a Seattle-area Qt3 get-together? I’ll bring the beer!

holy fuck, the recipe is way too complicated…

alton brown to the rescue!,,FOOD_9936_28231,00.html

and don’t forget the chili powder:,1977,FOOD_9936_28230,00.html

i’ve made this chili several times. it is quite easy and seriously delicious.

i’ve made a few changes to the recipe:

  1. only 2 dried arbol chiles in the powder. this gives a nice, medium-heat chili that most people can enjoy. the 3 arbol powder makes the chili way too hot.
  2. 2 pounds beef and 1 pound pork. lamb has a disgusting texture.
  3. i used beef broth instead of the beer, and use about 16 oz. i’m sure the beer would be good, but i don’t drink it so i never have any around…
  4. get the purple tortilla chips. using yellow chips makes the chili look, uh, gross.
  5. i ususally add 1/2 diced onion and a 16 oz can of diced tomatoes.
  6. instead of the pressure cooker, 5-6 hour on low in the crock pot.

This one is really good…just make sure you swap ground beef for some type of steak-- like flank or tri-tip or even stew meat…you will be much better off. Oh and add all the optional items…good stuff.


2 lbs. lean ground beef
3-1/2 cups canned Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. sugar
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup onion, chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
3/4 lb. canned corn, (optional)
1 lb. canned kidney beans, (optional)
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes, (optional)
2 Tbsps. jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 red bell pepper\cooked, chopped (optional)
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
3 Tbsps. chili powder, (optional)
1 Tbsp. oregano, (optional)
1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves, (optional)
1 Tbsp. Cajun spice mix, (optional)
1 cup red wine, or coffee or beef broth, or one bottle beer
1 Tbsp. brown sugar, or 1 Tbs cocoa, 1 tsp. instant coffee, or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon


Brown meat in a large skillet over medium heat until brown. Drain. If you have chosen garlic or onion, add them to the meat and cook another minute or two. Add all other ingredients you have chosen, stirring well. Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes and then reduce heat to low for at least 40 minutes. Of course, as with most soups, stews and chili recipes–the longer they cook, the more the flavors meld!

For great tasting flavor, try putting this recipe together in the morning and then leaving it in a slow cooker on a low setting for a great dinner meal. If desired, prepare rice or macaroni in a separate pan. Mix into chili prior to serving, or place in bottom of individual bowls and pour chili over the top. Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Bah. This is the king of all chili recipes:

You’d be surprised just how good a chili you can make with ground turkey.

But Glenn’s on the money. Unsweetened chocolate (I prefer Ghiradelli cocoa powder) and whatever leftover coffee from that morning adds a lot of flavor.

I also prefer to season the ground turkey (or beef, should I choose to use it), then ball the meat up so the flavors marry with the meat well before browning.

I’m going to risk the wrath of the chilli aficionados here, and say that celery makes a great addition to any chilli recipe. It adds a a slightly crunchy texture and a subtle flavour. Yum.

So, what do you substitute when you’ve never heard of, much less seen, anaheim or serrano peppers?

ask your grocer… any produce manager worth his/her salt will carry these peppers.

ask your grocer… any produce manager worth his/her salt will carry these peppers.[/quote]

In the U.S. yes. But I believe Backov is about to move to Russia. Hence the very relevant subsitution question ;-)

In Soviet Russia, chili eats you!

Backov Smirnov?

Well, I guess if you just want to exchange the chiles and go for the same heat, you could use their approximate scoville ratings:

Anaheim: 1000 Scoville Units
Jalapeno: 2500
Serrano: 5000

So 1 anaheim and 2 serranos could be substituted with 4-5 jalapenos and maybe a bell pepper for flavor/texture? I haven’t actually tried that kind of substitution, but it’s where I’d start.

I actually just went out to get the ingredients for jeffd’s chili recipe, then realized I don’t go out during Christmas for very good reason.

Maybe I can get the groceries delivered…