D@mn Good Chili (recipe & pics)

My apologies to alpo and other Texans in advance. I know this is far from authentic, but it's damn good.

invisible chili?

Start by browning 4 lbs of red meat. Some people like chili meat, some like steak, some like hamburger. Use whatever you want. My personal favorite is ground buffalo, which I'm using here.

While that's browning, get all your ingredients pre-measured, and layed out.

If you have the time and patience, you can rehydrate the chipotles in the crushed tomatos overnight. I prefer to take the easy way out and just blend them up in a coffee grinder. Whatever you do, don't use a normal food processor or chopper. It won't get fine enough, and you'll feel like you're eating sand.

Once the meat is browned and drained (draining isn't usually necessary with buffalo or game meats), add the following:

  • Chopped yellow onions (4 cups)
  • Chipotles (6 ground)
  • Chili powder (4 tablespoons)
  • Ground cumin (2 tablespoons)
  • Cayenne (2 teaspoons)
  • Ground cinnamon (teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano (1 teaspoon)
  • Crushed red pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Bay leaf (1)
  • Chicken bullion cubes (8)
  • Hickory smoked salt (1 teaspoon)

Cook until the onions soften up a bit.

Add 2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic. Cook for a minute or two.

Add 4 bottles of dark beer, cook until foam subsides.


  • Crushed tomatos (2 28oz cans)
  • Tomato paste (1 small can)
  • Kosher salt (1 tablespoon)
  • Dark brown sugar (3 teaspoons)
  • Unsweetened chocolate (1 square)

Stir well and bring to a boil, stiring as you go. Some of that stuff (like the chocolate) can easily burn to the bottom of the pot. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for at least an hour, stirring once in a while.

While that's going on, prepare your beans (optional for Texans). 4 15oz cans should be about perfect. The type of beans doesn't really matter much. Let's face it, the chili covers any flavor the beans might bring. To be festive, I like to mix 4 different kinds. Today I used black beans, red beans, great northerns, and pintos.

Rinse and dry.

When your hour+ is up, combine 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of flour in a bowl.

Mix to create a paste.

Add the paste and the beans to the chili. Return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with grated cheese or a plunk of sour cream in the middle.

Where's the beef?

There is no recipe here fuck face!

Oh i see now. I had to wait for it.

looks good

looks good man...thanks

Looks good. I see chili cheese omelettes for breakfast tomorrow.

I was on a chili cookoff team once. Our leader brought smoked sausage and fresh mangos to use in the chili. Somehow, we won.

Soooooo, what happened to the other two Polygamy Porters?

mullet, that's a fantastic recipe. i'm gonna try this. what do you think about spicy sausages in the mix?

"Soooooo, what happened to the other two Polygamy Porters?"

They'll probably be around for a long, long time. Maybe 6:00.

"what do you think about spicy sausages in the mix?"

Quite honestly, I don't think it needs it. The chili is pretty heavily spiced, so it might be wasted. Plus the texture is a little different. If I really wanted to try sausage, I'd probably go 50/50 with it. I wouldn't use Italian sausage, though. Maybe some andioulle (sp). But hey, to each his own. Play with it all you want. That's how good recipes become great ones. This started out as an Emeril recipe, and has evolved to the point where you can hardly tell they're both in the same chili family.

Lots of chili cooks have "secret" ingredients. Usually that means either cinnamon, chocolate, or both.

IMO, the "secrets" to this recipe are the chicken bullion cubes and the hickory smoked salt. Those are the ingredients that set it apart from most other chili recipes.

If I wanted to take the time, I might have smoked the ground buffalo for 30 minutes before finishing it off in the pot.


Are you making your own smoked salt? It's super easy, kosher salt in a pie pan and smoke away.

No shit? How long and what temp? I'll give it a shot.

Smoke it for a couple hours, you can't really burn salt. Different woods will give you different flavors. It is useful anywhere you would see "liquid smoke" called for. I used it in some Gumbo last week.

How deep would you pile it? I'm guessing if it's too thick, the stuff on the inside won't get any smoke.

There's nothing easier. I used a cheap aluminum pie plate, put about 1/4 inch of salt in it, and smoke it while I'm cooking meat. I usually stir the crystals once. The fuckers at the store get like $15 bucks a pound for the stuff. I guess I should go into the smoke salt business...

I'll definitely give it a shot. Thanks for the tip. I was almost out anyway.