This Chili is Everything I Love About Chili

Everything I love chili

I was in a chili competition today at 11. You can see a video of the whole competition and me talking about my recipe at the bottom of this post. This is the chili I made for the competition. It is basically a combination of the best things from every recipe of chili I have made in the past combined into one amazing chili: bacon, ground beef, shredded beef, shredded pork, coffee, kale (yes, I put kale in, you haters), 3 kinds of beans, and 7 kinds of chile peppers. Everyone’s chili was amazing and totally different. I had a lot of fun meeting all the chefs and cooking with them!

I used to make a homemade spice blend at my burrito shop, so cutting up the dried chiles gave me flashbacks. Dried chiles add so much depth to the dish, though. These are chipotle, ancho, and guajillo.

Poblano, onion, and celery in the pot. Garlic and habanero go next.

Sear all the meats and then take them out of the pot to cook the veggies. The meats go right back in once the liquid is added.

Chicken stock and the dried chiles are pureed for the main flavor base of the soup.

Dried black beans, small white beans, and pinto beans make up the bean mixture.

The chili has such a dark, but vibrant red color.

The zucchini and kale actually add just enough of the vegetal flavor I was looking for, but are practically hidden in the mix.

I am gonna make a bold and probably unpopular statement here, but I don’t need cheese on my chili. Sour cream, cilantro, and scallion are perfect.

This chili is everything I love about chili

I decided to put everything I love about different chili recipes into one amazing chili for a competition.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time5 hours
bean soak1 day
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex


  • 1/3 cup dried black beans
  • 1/3 cup dried small white beans
  • 1/3 cup dried pinto beans
  • 5 dried chipotle chiles seeds removed and broken up
  • 5 dried ancho chiles seeds removed and broken up
  • 5 dried guajillo chiles ceeds removed and broken up
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound sirloin tips
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound boneless country style pork ribs
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 4 poblano peppers diced
  • 5 jalapenos seeds removed and diced
  • 5 habaneros seeds removed and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can or bottle hard cider
  • 1 large zucchini diced
  • 1/2 bunch kale chopped very finely
  • 2 cups freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • sour cream scallion, and cilantro for serving


  • Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water.
  • Cook the chiles dry in a small pot, stirring. This will burn your nose and throat so open a window. After 3 minutes when the chiles slightly change color, add in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  • Add a good amount of olive oil to a large stock pot. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove from pot.
  • Add in the sirloin next, making sure to season it, and remove after it gets some good browning. Repeat with the pork, and then the ground beef. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon but dont worry if you dont get quite all of it.
  • Add the onions, celery, poblano, and jalapeno to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 10 minutes until softened and reduced in size.
  • Add the habanero and garlic and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes and cider and stir well.
  • Use an immesian blender to blend the chiles and stock smooth. Add the chile stock to the veggies.
  • Add the meat back in the pot. Add in the beans as well. Add the coffee. Add a few cups of water just so its the right moisture level.
  • Add in the zucchini and kale, along with the spices, honey, and vinegar.
  • Simmer for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the meat has fallen apart. Add water as needed if it gets dry.
  • Whisk in the masa harina and cook 15 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  • Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and scallions.


  1. I am not very smart when it comes to cooking. When do I add the Cumin, Paprika, Oregano, and Clove?


  2. The wonderful recipe will not print for me. By the way, it’s a good hot. Not too hot. Dont overdo the hot peppers. Like jalapeño, habanero etc,. Research your chiles. The others aren’t hot chiles.

  3. Interesting looking chili. I’m partial to traditional Texas Red – and do chili cook offs. But I decided to make it per recipe here. It was decent. Had some really nice qualities, for a home style chili. But I’d make a few changes. Axe the cloves. That didn’t fit at all. I wasn’t thrilled about the kale but it wasn’t too distracting.

    To me, chili is a beef centric dish. I would use beef stock rather than the chicken used here for a bolder, beefier flavor. I’d prefer adding a bottle of Negra Modelo over the cider added. I’d also add 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Always interesting to see other people’s take on chili. And was happy to see you used whole dried chilies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.