Red Chili


  • 1 lb ground beef or buffalo (coarse or chili ground is better, but regular does fine)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can crushed or chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans pinto bean (no chili beans)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bottle of decent beer or ale
  • olive or vegetable oil
  • ground red or chipotle chili to taste. I generally use about 1/2 t of chipotle for this size batch. Start with less; you can always add more, but you can’t take it back out.
  • 1-1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 t oregano
  • salt

Makes about 2-ish quarts


  • heavy skillet
  • stock pot


  1. Heat about 1T of oil in skillet and add meat. Break up meat into smallish chunks and stir occasionally until done and drippings on  the bottom of the pan are fairly dark brown.
  2. While cooking meat, heat about 1T oil in stock pot and add onions. Cook until soft. If meat is not done yet, turn heat off.
  3. When meat is done, add to onions in stock pot. Turn heat to medium and continue stirring.
  4. Add spices and about 1/2 t salt to stock pot and stir in.
  5. De-glaze skillet with water and some of the beer. Make sure you have as much of the “stuff” off the bottom of the pan as possible. This is where a lot of the richness if flavor comes from. Add to stock pot.
  6. Add canned tomatoes (not drained) to stock pot and let cook until it comes to a boil.
  7. Add canned beans to the stock pot. I do not drain the beans before adding; I think it adds flavor that I like. Your choice.
  8. Add remainder of beer or ale.
  9. Add water to about 1 inch over the ingredients.
  10. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and cover.
  11. After 30 minutes, taste and check heat level. Add more chili if you think it needs it.
  12. Simmer at least 1 hour, the more time the better the flavor.
  13. Before serving, taste and add more salt if desired.

Serve with grated cheese (cheddar or jack), sour cream as desired. Have tortilla chips of warmed flour tortillas as a side

I usually set out a bottle of hot sauce for my guest that like it hotter.

This is a great recipe for feeding a large group. You can scale back the meat a little if your budget demands, or up to double the meat for a richer, meatier meal. The quantities of seasonings are approximate; I cook by eye and nose. Feel free to adjust to your taste.


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