Recipe: Unholy Good Chili

This chili recipe is something I’ve gradually refined over the years and is unholy good. It needs a better title, though, I think. “Face kicker”?



  • 3 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 8-12 juniper berries, crushed


  • 1/2 pound of bacon, chopped into 1/2″ to 1/4″ chunks
  • 1/2 pound of ham, cubed
  • 2 pounds of 93% lean ground beef


  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 jalapeño peppers, chopped, leave seeds in
  • 2 serrano peppers, chopped, leave seed in
  • 2 potatoes, cubed


  • 8 ounces of Guiness stout

Stuff from a Can or Bottle:

  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can of red kidney beans
  • 1 7-oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2-4 tbsp. of vegetable oil

VARIANT ONE (Stratasys 2016): replace half a pound of the ground beef with a half pound of chorizo, substitute an Imperial IPA in place of the Guiness.


Step One: mix all the spices in an airtight container. Shake well, set aside.

Step Two: chop celery, onion, garlic, and bell pepper and set aside in a large bowl. Cube the potatoes and set them aside in another bowl. Dice the jalapeños and serranos, leaving the seeds in, and put them in a separate bowl.

Step Three: cook the bacon in a large (13″) skillet until crispy, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl. DO NOT DRAIN. Brown the ham in the bacon grease. Remove ham with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the bacon. DO NOT DRAIN. Brown the ground beef in this plethora of grease. Try not to drool. The beef, given it’s low-fat nature, should absorb a large amount of the grease. Remove beef with a slotted spoon, and place in a bowl with the bacon and ham. Fry the potatoes in the remaining grease (and a little bit of vegetable oil, if needed) — you’re going for lightly browned. Remove and add to the bowl with the meat.

Step Four: add the bowl of the vegetables to the skillet, with a little more oil, and sauté until they’re lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Add the beer and the beef broth to the vegetables, and return the meat/potato combo to the skillet. Add the diced jalapeños and serrano peppers. Mix very well. Then begin to mix in the spice combination until it’s well and truly in there — everything should turn reddish-brown. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture starts to look too dry, toss in a bit more beer or beef broth.

Then add canned tomatoes, with juice, the dark red beans with juice, and the chipotle peppers with sauce. Mix well. Let simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


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