July 12, 2005 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Chili! I want your recipes. And I pray that this be an ecumenical zone, where adherents of all chili-related dogmas will be welcome.
posted by kenko to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Don't really have a consistant recipie, but I'll tell you that my secret ingredient is a can of Dr. Pepper.
posted by BradNelson at 8:45 AM on July 12, 2005

I have two basic requirements for excellent chilli: cinnammon and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (available in cans in the ethnic aisle in your supermarket). Both of these elements will bring your chili from standard to divine, mixing to provid a deep, smokey, velvety spice.

I do not use measurements when I cook and I do alot of my simmering and the like by feel, so you may have to play with this and I'm sorry if the instructions are not so detailed:

Cubed beef or venison, cut into very small squares (I do not use ground meet, it gets way too greasy and I don't like the mouth feel)

Three or four sliced chipotles from can WITH a teaspoon of sauce

One onion, diced

Five or Six garlic cloves, chopped fine

A few carrots, diced

Paprika, cumin, one or two small pinches of cinammon, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper mixed together to your liking

One can of Guinness

One large can of pureed italian tomatoes

Some cold water


Brown the beef or venison in a stock pot briefly in some olive oil until the outside looks caramelized

Remove meat but leave oil and browning scraps in pot and sautee garlic, onions and carrots until the onions are translucent

Add the spice mix described above and stir for a minute

Put the meat back, add the tomato and guinness and the chipotles with the sauce and bring to a boil

Redue the heat till the chili is just simmering and cover and let simmer for an hour or so or until the chili is at the consistency you like it. Add cold water occassionally if the chili is starting to get too thick.

I like my chili runny so I tend to add a good amount of water.

Taste before serving and adjust spice accordingly

Serve with some diced fresh jalapenos and maybe some shaved cheddar
posted by spicynuts at 8:53 AM on July 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

Scullys' Slow-Cook (Veggie) Chili [PDF]

Add meat, if that's your thing.
posted by terrapin at 9:24 AM on July 12, 2005 [5 favorites]

Another nice secret ingredient is a bit of unsweetened cocoa.

I came across a bunch of really interesting looking Chili recipes on the web yesterday when I was putting together an FPP. The page isn't in my Firefox History, though, and neither are any of the pages I visited when making the FPP. Why is that?
posted by OmieWise at 9:25 AM on July 12, 2005

1 lb of ground beef
1 lb of bulk sausage
1 lb of dried pinto beans
1 lb of kidney beans (optional)
approx 60 oz pureed tomatoes
15 oz diced tomatoes
handfuls of chopped, roasted green Hatch chile
a couple of chopped chile pods from my garden (whatever variety happened to grow that year)
2 large onions, chopped

Spices to taste: garlic, cumin, cilantro, cinnamon (optional), LOTS of sage, whatever else strikes my fancy that day
The night before: rinse the dried beans and allow them to soak overnight.

The morning of: Rinse the beans again. I put them through 3 boils. I start with cold water, bring to a rolling boil for 30 minutes, drain and redo. (Seems to reduce the gas factor after dinner. May be hogwash, but it is a technique Grandma taught me.) After third water change, continue boiling until the beans are tender.

Brown meat and onions. Drain really well.
Add beans and remaining ingredients. Simmer for an hour or two. Tomato juice or water may be added to thin the mix. The chile can be frozen, canned or fresh. I usually use frozen because it is what I have available. BTW, I aim for flavor and not heat.
posted by onhazier at 9:30 AM on July 12, 2005

My favorite chili is Cincinnati Chili. Truly one of the great contributions to world cuisine. The best recipe for it I've ever found is this one:

1 lb Chuck,twice ground finely (alternatively, 1/2 lb ground beef + 1/2 lb ground pork)
2 x Onions, minced
2 x Cloves garlic, minced
1 c Tomato sauce
2 tb Catsup
1 c Water
1 tb Red wine vinegar
1 tb Chili powder
1 tb Paprika
1 ts Pepper
1 ts Honey
1/2 oz Unsweetened chocolate,grated
1/2 ts EA: ground cumin, tumeric
1/2 ts EA: marjoram, allspice
1/2 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts EA: nutmeg, ground cloves
1/4 ts EA: mace, ground coriander
1/4 ts Ground cardamom
1/2 x Bay leaf, crumbled
1 ts Salt

Salt a large cast iron skillet. Turn heat to med and add meat, onions, and garlic. Cook until meat is browned.

Add tomato sauce, catsup, water, and vinegar. As mixture begins to boil, add everything else.

Adjust spices to taste, adding more salt if it needs perking up, turmeric and cumin for a sweatier chili flavor, cinnamon, cloves, and mace if you want it sweeter, cardamom for more bang, unsweetened chocolate for body. Cover and simmer at very low heat for about 1 hr, stirring and tasting occasionally, adding tomato juice if it is getting too dry to ladle up easily.

Serve over lightly buttered spaghetti, with all of the following available as options: diced raw white onion, kidney beans, shredded cheddar cheese, and oyster crackers.

This stuff is divine.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:33 AM on July 12, 2005

If you like it thick, add a can of refried beans.
posted by jrossi4r at 10:09 AM on July 12, 2005

I'm pretty new to cooking, so my recipe for "1 Alarm Chili" is a little more "out of the box", but this post encourages me to look into some different ingredients and spices.

2 cans (15.5oz.) Brooks Mild Chili Beans
1 can (15.5oz.) Brooks Hot Chili Beans
3 cans (14.5oz.) Dei Fratelli Diced Tomatoes
1 Bob Evans Zesty Hot Roll Sausage

Brown sausage. Add Beans and Tomatoes. Pepper to taste. Simmer for at least 45 minutes. Serve with Fritos Scoops.
posted by bwilms at 10:21 AM on July 12, 2005

Mmm...terrapin's recipe looks delicious! I'll be giving that one a try.

I usually eat Hormel's vegetarian chili, but nothing beats homemade!
posted by Crushinator at 10:27 AM on July 12, 2005

Vegan Chili - all measurements are approximate
2 onions
4 or more cloves garlic
1 envelope McCormicks Original Chili seasoning
3/4 cup TVP (texturized vegetable protein, get at health food store)
4 carrots
1 green peppers
2 fresh hot peppers or 1 dried
chili powder
1/2 bottle beer
lg. can chopped tomatos
smaller can tomato sauce
can of black or kidney beans
1/2 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
olive oil

Saute chopped onions, garlic, peppers, carrots in olive oil in a big pot. When soft, add everything else. Bring it up on a hot burner than simmer for an hour or so. If too thick, add more beer or water or something. If too thin, tomato paste. Serve with grated cheese & sour cream to un-vegan it. Even the meat eaters will like it and they may not even suspect, since TVP turns into a close facsimile of chopped meat when cooked long enough.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:04 AM on July 12, 2005

My recipe is secret and very valuable ;)

I lied. Here it is:

Hot Damn! No Ham! Chilly Chili

* 1 big ol’ can of tomato sauce
* 2 cans tomato paste
* 2 16-oz. cans black beans
* 2 16-oz. cans kidney beans
* 1 red onion
* 8 red juicy tomatos
* 2 green bell peppers
* 2 red bell peppers
* 4 mushrooms
* 3 jalapeños (add 1-6 more for hotter chili)
* 8-10 cloves garlic
* 4 tablespoons chili powder
* Some salt
* 1/2 bar chocolate (or some cocoa powder). Trust me on this one.
* 1 tablespoon cinnammon
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons cumin
* Whatever other spices you have in the rack and look good at the time, like red pepper flakes, black pepper, or any of those green ones (you know, basil, oregano, whatever . . . )
* 3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the olive oil at the bottom of your big ol’ pot, and sautee the onions, garlic, and jalapeños for a while. Then throw in the bell peppers. Throw in some salt while you're at it, and maybe some red pepper flakes too, if you have any floating around. After you can smell the onions and garlic from the street, and your eyes have quit watering, finely chop the mushrooms and throw those in the pot. At some point all the vegetables and beans gotta go in, so put those in there whenever you remember, and add the beans, tomato sauce, and tomato paste too. It doesn’t matter too much, since this is all going to simmer for two hours anyway. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Add brown sugar, chili powder, chocolate, vinegar, and the rest of the spices, and stir those in. Then let simmer some more. Have a beer. Go check your email. Stir the pot, and taste it. Add more spices if needed. Experiment. You really can’t screw it up at this point, except, perhaps, but not adding enough spice, which is actually OK because you can fix that last minute. Add water if it becomes too thick. If it’s too thin, turn up the burner a bit and leave the lid off. If it’s realllllly too thin, sift in half a cup of flour, being sure to stir it so no lumps develop. Have another beer. Turn on the Beastie Boys. That should about do it. Add a little salt, just because, let it sit for five minutes, and serve. Chili.
posted by kables at 11:21 AM on July 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

I'm an Atkins devotee, so mine is modified slightly to keep it a little lower in carbs than the others.

Cubed (small) beef (Lots)
Tomatoes from the garden (Lacking that, whole in cans) (Lots)
Cumin, Chili powder, cinnamon, vinegar.
Green peppers (3-6), a small onion.

Brown beef in frying pan.

In chili pot, sautee sliced green peppers with olive oil, salt, and the onion.

When beef is browned, toss into chili pot with sauteed stuff. Add all tomatoes. Add 6:1 chili powder/cumin. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. (You can add a touch of whatever hot/mexican pepper sauce you have here, if you like)

Add a *touch* of cinn. Simmer. Taste.

If it's weak, increase chili powder. If you can't taste the cumin, add more cumin. Add salt.

Simmer until it starts to thicken. It'll thicken as it cools, so don't over cook it.

Serve hot with cheese and sour cream on top. Mmmmmm....
posted by unixrat at 12:08 PM on July 12, 2005

This recipe comes from a "chili expert" friend in San Angelo, Texas, and is very close to his father's 1993 Champion Chili of the World Recipe. It's known as a three-dump chili, -- for the way you make it, not for what it does to you.

Free Spirit Chili

Step One
2 1/2 lbs of chuck, sirloin, or round steak. Done in a 'chili grind', or 1/2 inch cubes. It needs to be lean. Tell butcher to run it through a coarse grinder ONE time. It will be about the size of fat, curly sticks of licorice. Hope that helps, if all else fails, just cube it.
1/4 tube of regular sausage. Jimmy dean, Owens, etc. You need 1/4 of one 16oz tube.
1 tsp shortening. either lard or vegetable.
1 can (8oz) no-salt added tomato sauce
1 can (14oz) beef broth
2 1/2 cups water

In at least a 4-quart(with lid) or larger pot, brown beef and sausage(broken up)in the shortening(do not drain). Add tomato sauce, beef broth and water. Then stir in DUMP ONE. Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat, put lid on pot, and slow simmer for 1 3/4 hours. Make sure to check and stir every 15-20 minutes or so.

Dump One
3 Tbsp Chili powder
1 Tbsp Onion powder
3/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 tsp beef flavored base or instant bouillon
1 tsp chicken flavored base or instant bouillon
1/2 tsp Salt

It is best to make ALL of these dumps ahead of time, and then just dump them in the pot at the recommended time. Keep in mind, the chili will seem VERY watery and runny at first, but will thicken as it cooks, and as you add the dumps. Make sure to check and stir every 15-20 minutes.

Dump Two
Added after the initial 1 3/4 hours
3 Tbsp Chili powder
1 Tbsp ground Cumin
2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground Black pepper

Add DUMP TWO, and keep simmering (with lid on) on low/med low heat for 30 more minutes. Chili will begin to thicken. Add small amounts of water if needed. Check and stir every 15 minutes.

Dump Three
Added at 2 1/4 hour mark
1 Tbsp Chili powder
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/4 tsp ground Red pepper

Add DUMP THREE, and simmer(with lid on) for additional 15 minutes. You want consistency to be thicker than soup, but not as thick as pudding. Add water at this time if it gets too thick. If its too soupy, then remove lid, turn up heat a little, and cook out some of the water. You need to watch the chili close during this last 15 minutes, it will make or break it. Total cook time will be 2 1/2-2 3/4 hours.

Serve hot with cheese and crackers, enjoy. Unused chili can be refrigerated (5 days) or frozen (2 months), and will get HOTTER as it sits up.
posted by pmbuko at 12:17 PM on July 12, 2005

Here's my quickie chili recipe. I have one that takes a couple of days too...but I only make it for cookoffs, and for my husband's's a pain. Here's the easy version.

For a small pot...about 10 servings:

2-3 pounds cubed meat of choice. (I prefer black angus beef, or fresh venison...but it works with chicken. Never tried pork or mutton.)

1 giant or 2 regular red onions. (Sweet vidalia also work.)

2-3 pounds tomatoes. (Any kind will do ya, whatever's on sale.)

Finely chopped, but not minced, bell peppers to taste...I usually use a couple red during the meat phase, and through a yellow and a green in towards the end for color.

Couple of big ol cans (28 oz?) Ranch style beans. (This is the part that makes purists call me an infidel.)

1 can tomato paste

3-4 8oz cans of tomato sauce (You probably won't need them all.)

Minced garlic...about 2 tablespoons or 5 cloveletts. NOT garlic powder or salt...if you're using powder or salt, you'll have to judge for yourself how much to use, but those measurements would be way too much.

Some hard cider, if you happen to have some laying about.

kosher salt
chili powder
5 pepper mix
little masa or some very fine ground flour (if needed)
lime juice (lemon will work in a pinch)

some folks like chili to be a little sweet, in which case I would use a tablespoon or two of blackstrap molasses rather than sugar. It imparts a better flavor with tomato, imho.

Brown the meat, garlic and onions in a little olive oil and 3-4 tbsp of lime juice and some kosher salt. Once browned, pull it off the heat for a second and incorporate the tomato paste.

Do your first go round with spices...add some of everything. I never measure anything, so I'm guessing that you should start with a teaspoon of each. (That may make it way too hot for some folks...cayenne is an acquired taste, I've been told.)

While meat is simmering, wash and peel your 'maters. (Peeling is important in a quick sauce.) Chop roughly and toss in the pot with about a cup - 1.5 cps of water. (Put the pot back on the heat once you've added the water.) Mix like a mad thing until it's all incorporated nicely. If you're adding cider, add now...say...4 oz or so. You can always add more. :)

Let simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

Add beans. If needed, add tomato sauce. (Not paste, you're looking here to liquefy the recipe if it's too thick because the tomatoes weren't as watery as expected.)

Taste, adjust seasoning as necessary. I find that it always needs more salt at this stage.

If you end up with too much grease, make a soupy paste of a little masa/flour and water to help reduce the greasy feel. Incorporate the paste into the pot.

Simmer for about 15 minutes and're done.

Chili is an insanely forgiving recipe. You can do just about anything to it, and it'll be ok. As long as you don't scorch the bottom of your pan by working at temps that are too's all good.
posted by dejah420 at 12:22 PM on July 12, 2005

Every year, my club holds chili cookoff and I've started gathering the recipes here: I've judged all of these recipes and I'll tell you what.. they're good, including the one from the ringer before we clamped down the rules.
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:26 PM on July 12, 2005

If you're askin' about chili I assume you're open to a Green Chili recipe. This is best (IMO) in a bowl with homemade flour tortillas but can be thickened with a bit more starch and masa flour if you'd like to serve it over something like burritos.


Oh and I add cubed potatoes and increase the salt (due to the potatoes) a bit when I make it.
posted by sublivious at 12:33 PM on July 12, 2005

And while we're tossing things out, buffalo is an excellent meat for chili. Red, meaty, holds up well to cooking, not too fatty...

Highly recommended. In my household, venison is a distant second preference.
posted by unixrat at 12:51 PM on July 12, 2005

Best answer: Here's my recipe, No Friggin' Tomatoes-No Goddam Beans.

Take some dried chili peppers, de-seed and de-stem, then drop into a blender with a couple tablespoons of water. Blend until it looks like thick tomato paste, add more pods and more water until you have several cups. I use mainly mild peppers, and add some hot ones at the end to get the desired heat (you can also roast/toast the pods for a nice flavor). Into the pot with some onions and garlic (add beans now if you are a veggie or yankee). I like heart for the meat, but any tough meat will do (second on the list is shin meat from deer or elk). I pressure cook it at 15 psi (well, the 15 psi weight) for 30 min. Tendons will have turned to delicious jelly and give the mouth feel of fat. Rough chop or fork apart the meat and throw it in with the sauce. People can't believe that there are no tomatoes or that the sauce is made entirely of peppers.
As a side note, I am not a chili snob and have no probem with "yankee chili" (tomatoes, chili powder, beans and ground beef), but this recipe (loosely taken from a bag of dried chili peppers) is incredibly good tasting.
posted by 445supermag at 1:21 PM on July 12, 2005

Don't use ground beef; use stew beef, and let it simmer long enough for the beef to get really tender.
posted by theora55 at 1:35 PM on July 12, 2005

sublivious - I'm glad somebody finally mentioned potatoes. After all, what is chili without potatoes?
posted by grateful at 1:39 PM on July 12, 2005

Response by poster: grateful--what god intended?
posted by kenko at 6:58 PM on July 12, 2005

Terribly late and not terribly kosher if you are from Texas (and I am) - but here is another alternative - My Black n White Chili.

Can of Black Beans - Drained
Can of White Beans (navy) - Drained
Med can of Green Chili Sauce from the ethnic section.
Med can of Red Enchilada Sauce from the ethnic section.
Ground Turkey or Chicken
Chili Powder
Shallots (note- I like shallots over onions and sub them 99% of the time - you may feel otherwise)

Brown the meat and drain.

Saute Garlic and Shallots. Add meat back in and add the rest. I don't measure either - so start small and add more as you near finishing time to taste. Bring to a low simmer and let it cook for as long as you can stand it (a few hours is best - 30 minutes will do).

Low fat - high in fiber!

Enjoy - also goes crazy well over rice the next day.
posted by jopreacher at 10:31 PM on July 13, 2005

Chili's mostly about the ingredients. Some of my faves:
  • Corn
  • Green Onions
  • Black Beans
  • Potatoes, sliced like skinny, short french fries
  • Celery
  • More Corn
  • Fresh Ground Cumin
  • Tomatillos
A good tip: go to the nearest bodega and try all sorts of stuff. Also, make the chili as spicy as you can tolerate, maybe slightly spicier. It'll keep people from eating it too fast, and the leftovers (if there are any) will cool down. Adding fresh cilantro before eating will cool it down and make it taste real good.

We're all friends of Cilantro here, right?

Also, If you're making a very large batch of chili for a potentially infinite crowd, making it really spicy and in small servings helps to make it last longer.
posted by blasdelf at 10:57 PM on July 13, 2005

Rather than posting my recipe, I'll just mention some of my favorite parts of it:

I like to use Ortega green peppers - the large ones from the cans - slicing them crosswise, but not dicing them.

I dump in a Rolling Rock or two to give a little corn-maltiness to the broth. The alcohol pulls the pepper flavor out of the black peppercorns, then evaporates.

Instead of stew beef, I've used stew lamb or goat. The flavor really changes, so it's definitely a horse of another color, but if you want adventure, excitement, really wild things, it's worth a try.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:14 AM on July 14, 2005

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