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The best thick hearty chili recipe you'll ever need. In 25 years of restaurant cooking, this is my classic chili recipe; loved by thousands. Vary the amount of green chilies and hot sauce if you're an Easterner unused to fiery Western foods, but don't change anything else.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
4 hrs 10 mins
additional:
8 hrs
total:
12 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place pinto beans in a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight.

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  • Cook and stir beef in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and discard grease from pot.

  • Drain pinto beans and add to stockpot; add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers, poblano peppers, diced tomatoes, guajillo chile powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook mixture at a simmer for about 3 hours.

  • Stir beef granules into the chili and continue simmering until beans are very tender and disintegrate easily, 1 to 3 hours more, adding water as needed to keep beans and vegetables immersed in liquid. Thicken the chili with masa harina if you prefer a thicker texture. Season with salt just before serving.

Cook's Note:

If you're cooking this in a crock pot, keep heat on high and cook uncovered for 8 to 10 hours instead. Add beef base in the final hour if desired. It is not necessary, but I always use it.

Nutrition Facts

393 calories; protein 27.4g; carbohydrates 53g; fat 8.3g; cholesterol 42mg; sodium 1138.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (2)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
01/22/2013
This recipe has a missing ingredient of 1.5qts of water as written by the author. (I checked her personal recipe as submitted). It worked a lot better once I found that. I made this as written with the exception of ground pork instead of beef. It's very heavy on vegetables and the meat seems to nearly disappear in the finished product. It looked like vegetable soup and the texture was very different than any chili I've made/had. Others liked it more than I did or I would be giving it a three star. Chili is so regional though. I was a little worried about the heat from the description but took it as a challenge and used all the peppers and the hot sauce. We didn't think it was too hot but it was definitely something I would have to tone down for company. I can't imagine how but it seemed to lack depth. I got about 10 cups out of a half batch. Read More
(1)
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
01/22/2013
This recipe has a missing ingredient of 1.5qts of water as written by the author. (I checked her personal recipe as submitted). It worked a lot better once I found that. I made this as written with the exception of ground pork instead of beef. It's very heavy on vegetables and the meat seems to nearly disappear in the finished product. It looked like vegetable soup and the texture was very different than any chili I've made/had. Others liked it more than I did or I would be giving it a three star. Chili is so regional though. I was a little worried about the heat from the description but took it as a challenge and used all the peppers and the hot sauce. We didn't think it was too hot but it was definitely something I would have to tone down for company. I can't imagine how but it seemed to lack depth. I got about 10 cups out of a half batch. Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
01/09/2021
It was ok...make sure to add the water as another commenter said. Better the second day, but still just ok Read More
Rating: 4 stars
07/28/2017
I made this chili according to the directions. It is a little unusual for chili in that it uses carrots and celery. The only problem that I have with the recipe is that it does not have any sauce. I added two 16 ounce cans of tomato sauce instead of water.. Read More
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