In Season: The Best Chili

I realize this isn’t really about what’s in season, but it does incorporate some items that were preserved from the fall harvest. Plus, this chili is absolutely delicious. Trust me. I spent years trying to make a good chili. Finally, I’ve made a great chili.

So, after the Easter holiday while we roll into some chilly weather, this seems like the perfect recipe to share with all of you.


  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 c roasted poblano peppers (if you don’t have these, some canned chilis would work or you can omit)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons hot sauce or 1 seeded and diced jalapeno
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 can/bottle beer of your choice (I’ve used light and dark beer with success)
  • 1 can black beans with juice
  • 4 cups chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • Toppings: sour cream, cilantro, onion, chives, scallions, parsley, etc


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add olive oil followed by onion.
  3. Saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and saute for about a minute before adding ground beef.
  5. When the beef is browned, add poblano peppers through hot pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook a minute or two. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt and a couple turns of freshly ground pepper.
  6. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute or two.
  7. Pour in beer, black beans, and tomato sauce. Add another sprinkle of kosher salt.
  8. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook until desired consistency is reached. For us, that is a good couple hours.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in brown sugar and let it cook for minutes. Add toppings. Enjoy!
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