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Mar 1, 2008 12:05 PM

Bob's Serious Chili Recipe

In reply to a request made on the Boston board ("Best Bowl of Chili"), here's my favorite recipe.

Ingredients (all quantities approximate, improvise to suit your taste):

4 - 5 lbs beef (nothing fancy, any cheap tough cut is good)
¼ cup peanut oil
3 good sized onions
4 cloves garlic
1 small (7 oz) can chiles chipotles in adobo sauce
3 fresh or 1/2 cup pickled sliced jalapeños
¼ cup chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne (red) pepper
2 or 3 cans dark red kidney beans (optional)


Trim the fat off the beef and cut it into ½” cubes (this is the only hard part - if you don’t have a VERY sharp knife it can take forever). It’s easier if you put the meat in the freezer for a half hour or so before cutting it.

Heat the peanut oil in a large, heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and stir frequently until it’s all browned.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the onions and mince the garlic. When the beef is brown, add the onions and garlic, turn the heat down to medium, and cook a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chop the chipotles and jalapeños and stir them in along with all the adobo sauce.

Add the chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper, and stir everything together.

Reduce heat ‘til it’s just high enough to keep things simmering. Cover the pot and cook until the beef is fork tender (about 2 hours). Peek under the lid and give things a stir every now and then.

When the beef is done, stir in the beans if desired.

Taste for seasoning. I sometimes add a little more chili powder and cumin at this point, a little more salt if it needs it, and more cayenne and/or chopped jalapeños if it’s not hot enough.

Serve with your choice of toppings: shredded cheese, chopped green or yellow onion, chopped fresh or pickled jalapeños.

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  1. Thanks very much Bob, the recipe looks great and I will enjoy trying it (this weekend is lentil soup but perhaps in a week).

    1. I like the looks of this recipe with the chipotles (smokey heat) and the jalapeno's. I've noticed that a lot of people are using "Tri-tip", cubed, in their chili recipes. I think you'll lose a lot of people with the beans, though. Most authentic chili's don't contain beans, but frankly, as I get older, I can't eat chili without beans (fiber). And, I like them in my chili. I lean toward pintos or black beans. I've also begun to throw in a small can of tomatoes. Also, not accepted by a lot of people. I'm going to give this recipe a try.

      1. an okay recipe, but I'd skip the pickled jalapenos and chipotle in adobo

        chipotle in adobo can overwhelm dishes with both chile heat and adobo flavor

        I usually drop a dried morita or two(or add chipotle powder to my chile paste) into my chili(and remove them before serving)...this gives you heat that blends well with other chili chiles and has the benefit of adding smokiness w/o the addition of pork products(if you were so inclined)...I have friends who don't eat pork, but love chili, so it's a great workaround...

        personally, I wouldn't want pickled jalapeno flavor in my chili; sometimes I'll use them as a garnish, but I usually just thinly slice fresh for that purpose

        and I'm also a heretic with the inclusion of *some* light red kidney beans

        1. I go for Three Bean Chili -- a can each of black, pinto, kidney.

          Why three?

          Each has a different note; this way you can play a chord.

          1 Reply
          1. re: puzzler

            I like that idea! Next batch gets three beans.