Make Ahead


February  1, 2012
5 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off. This recipe is actually very simple. It builds on lots of spices,and even chocolate, plus vegetables and lean meat. Once you configure your mis en place and prepare the vegetables and meats, the rest is simple. I have made this medium heat(wimpy husband), but you can add more jalapeno peppers for higher heat. And oh my! This is one of the few recipes where I have used beer instead of wine for added liquid and flavor. Don't forget the tequila chaser! —dymnyno

Test Kitchen Notes

As Dymnyno’s says “don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients”. The recipe is well worth it and the flavors are exceptional. And it is very satisfying to make; the scent and color of the spices tantalizes. The recipe calls for both beer and tequila, and of course both must be tasted before adding. (Fun in the kitchen was had by all!) —SKK

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups yellow onions, medium chop
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons ground unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 pounds lean ground sirloin
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces hot Italian sausage
  • 6 cups canned tomatoes (or your own)
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 12 ounces beer
  1. In a large pot saute' the onions in the oil until soft. Then add the peppers and garlic and continue to saute' for about 10 minutes. (don't brown) Add all the spices and the cocoa and stir to mix all the ingredients. Remove from the heat until time to add the meat.
  2. In another large pan, brown the meats. If the sausages are in casings, remove and crumble. Break up large pieces as you saute' the meat. Cook until all pink is gone.
  3. Add the meat to the vegetable mixture and continue to cook at medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices., the tequila and the beer and simmer for at least an hour.
  4. To serve I usually serve in a bowl with a slice of fresh lime to squeeze over the chile. I don't add salt, but if you must...
  5. And, of course, the chili only gets better if served the next day when the spices have really settled in.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jeffro
  • Vivian Henoch
    Vivian Henoch
  • Lizthechef
  • dymnyno
  • SKK

12 Reviews

NXL November 3, 2021
This is a really good chili. The spice level is just right and the combination of flavors is spot on. We like a soupy chili, so I reduced the ground beef to one pound. Wish I had followed my instincts to drain the cooked meat as this is a very fatty chili. I don't mind the amount of olive oil at all. I would definitely make again.
Jeffro March 2, 2013
I love yourrecipes and your site, but am a single guy in a small apartment and sometimes your recipes are too big. If you had scaling app on your site it would help me immeasurably (no pun intended). Thanks. Jeff
Laurelb December 12, 2012
Not in Canada :)
Laurelb December 12, 2012
Not worried about the alcohol. I just never buy tequila.
dymnyno December 12, 2012
You can probably buy a 2 ounce little bottle at your grocery store.
Laurelb December 12, 2012
Sounds fabulous. How necessary is the tequila?
dymnyno December 12, 2012
The recipe builds on many flavors. The 1/2 cup of tequila which is a significant amount definitely adds to the recipe. If you are afraid of the alcohol, don't worry. It will cook off.
Vivian H. February 16, 2012
Okay, looks like we landed just about on the same square. Almost ingredient for ingredient.(See my smokin' Helluva Chili, starting with a chocolate-pice rub on a sirloin, seared on a grill. Helluva good chili, though.... gotta admit.
dymnyno February 16, 2012
Your smokin' chili sounds delicious, but very different from mine. I don't use beans, cilantro, corn meal, or tomato paste and I use ingredients that are not in your chili, like tequila and hot sausage to name a few.
SKK February 16, 2012
Wow Vivian - the two recipes aren't remotely similar in so many ways. I am sure your recipe is wonderful but the flavor profiles between yours and dymnyno are totally different, including the ingredients.
Lizthechef February 9, 2012
Looks delicious - yes, waiting a day or two sounds great advice for these rich flavors.
dymnyno February 9, 2012
I should have waited a week . This recipe has loads of spices and chocolate. I love to add cocoa to savory recipes . It pairs well with a big mountain grown California Cabernet.