Chili as Art


Prep Time: about 4 hours

Servings: 8

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Note: This recipe is time consuming but is not difficult. It is fun and I have been making it for years. I change it all the time and these are loose guidelines. I have cooked it in my ceramic grills, on top of the stove, and in the oven. Cut the veggies differently and it will alter the taste. Different meats effect taste and texture. You document as you make different batches if you like (I don't). Part of the fun here is that it helps you develop your taste and learn about layering flavors. It will improve your cooking. Change it, enjoy it, eat it, serve it.

1.5 pounds of leftover hamburgers and 2 pounds Ground Chuck, or a 5 pound chuck roast (if you go here trim it real well and cut it into 3/8 to 1/2 inch cubes) or use all ground chuck. (You can use what ever kind of beef you have, left over brisket, chop it up and toss it in)
Bacon Fat, Lard, Peanut Oil, Canola Oil pick one laid out in order of flavor impact
1 Large Onion (You pick the flavor, I like yellow sweet)
1 Large Jalapeno
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
ᅢテ¬タレᅢツᅡᄐ Green Bell Pepper
Chili Powder 3 TBL plus more to taste
Extra Oregano, Granulated Garlic, Paprika, Ground Cumin, salt, black pepper
1 Can of Mild Rotel
1 8 oz Can Tomato Paste (this makes sweet chili and you donᅢテᅡ깨ᄁ¬タレᅡᆲᅢᄁ¬ダᅡᄁt need it all) or 16 oz of Tomato Sauce
12 Oz of real good IPA or PA I like Harpoon, SN, Redhook, etc.
And what ever you have in your pantry you think will add to the end product, I suggest you make it fairly plain at first then begin adding stuff.


Pre Heat the BGE to 375 degrees, I cook it direct with some smoke.

Dice the hamburgers into 3/8 to ᅢテ¬タレᅢツᅡᄑ inch cubes
Remove the seeds and membranes from all the peppers
Dice ᅢテ¬タレᅢツᅡᄐ inch or less all the veggies keep the Onion separate
Place oil in a cast iron (enameled is easiest) Dutch Oven and brown the ground chuck. You want it hot and you want it brown. You may need to do the meat in batches. Once the ground chuck is brown re heat the chopped up burgers with the ground chuck. Remove to drain. Place the onion in the Dutch oven. You want to cook the onion until it is clear and reduced. Add the remainder of the fresh vegetables to the oven. Add some salt and some ground cumin about a teaspoon. Cook until the vegetables are limp and most of the water has cooked off. The fragrant odor should have subsided considerably and should you choose to not cook the water off of these vegetables the flavors of the green bell pepper will dominate the taste. Add the beer, 3 TBS of the chili powder, Rotel, Tomato paste, and some water. Here is where the art part kicks in add some oregano, garlic, paprika, black pepper, and ground cumin 1/2 tsp of black pepper and 1 tsp of the rest. Add water to get a slightly watery consistency. Smell and taste the chili, does it smell and taste like chili if so let it cook stirring every 10 minutes. If not, add chili powder and the other seasonings until it smells and taste like chili. After the first 30 minutes adjust the heat with your choice, cayenne, ground chipotles, etc. Cook for 2 hours minimum, adding water when required. Taste, adjust and re-cook if required, it is art after all.
Serve with any or none of the following:
Warmed Black Beans, Chili Beans, Pinto Beans, Cheese, Sour Cream, Crackers and Tortilla Chips.

One last note, if you use raw cast iron that has been seasoned the tomatoes will remove the finish. I happen to like a bit of this flavor, but it can and will ruin the chili so make sure the pan is seasoned well and taste often. Should this bitterness begin to overpower the flavor remove the chili at once and transfer to another pot. Don't put the top on the dutch oven as acid in the tomatoes will go after the finish on the inside of the top as well. When finished wash the oven in hot water only NO SOAP EVER. dry and re-season with oil, lard, or bacon grease (go to Lodge for detailed instructions)

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