Best Damn Chili, Ever. Seriously, So Good You’ll Make More!

As anyone who knows me will tell you I hate Fall. The reasons are obvious: leaves fall off trees, the world turns brown, I have to start wearing socks and sweatshirts, and the world is inundated with all things brown, gold, orange and PUMPKIN. Yes, cinnamon is awesome but come on people, do we have to put it in EVERYTHING? I’m a black coffee drinker, the thought of bastardizing my coffee with sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin is ludicrous. This year has been especially bad for me and I’m uncertain why that is the case. I get mad every time I see a pumpkin, jack-o-lantern or anything slightly “fall-like”. I may need professional assistance.

Anywho … there are a few good things about this time of year. One, my daisies bloom and since they are the happiest of flowers I get a few moments of pure joy just seeing them. Two: Honeycrisp apples are in season and they are like candy so I eat as many as freaking possible. And three: Soup is on the menu regularly. My husband is not a huge fan of soup unless it’s mostly meat. I prefer mine with little or no meat but I cater to his palate because, well, I love him and want to make him happy. Geezsh, what’s the world coming to?



HoneyCrisp Apples


Random photo of chili. I did not make this bowl. Mine was prettier and tastier … I just didn’t take a picture of it because it tasted too good to stop and take a pic.

So soup. I make a few and usually I’m not a huge fan of chili. It’s usually too meaty or beanie or chili-y. A few bites do and then I’m done. But last weekend I made some so good we couldn’t stop eating it and I’ve decided to make another batch this weekend and post the recipe here to share the love. I blame it on the beer and chocolate. RIGHT?

If you make this chili the way I have, you will be amazed. I could win a contest with this stuff I’m sure! So, here goes: write this down, print this out and do it. You won’t be sorry.

Chili a’laRachel – aka Chocolate Bourbon Chili


1 lb. – lean ground beef
1 lb. – ground pork
1 – medium onion, chopped
3 – small to medium sized garlic cloves, minced
2-4  cups – beef broth
1 cup – dark beer I used this stuff and WOW it’s good!

So good!

So good!

2 – fresh chili peppers (I used jalapeño peppers grown on my patio), minced
2 cans – diced tomatoes
2 cans – kidney beans
1 tsp – ground cumin
1 tsp – grown coriander
2 tbs – cocoa powder
2 tbs – paprika
2 tbs – chili powder (I used 2-Alarm)
1 tbs – masa powder (from 2-Alarm box)*
1 tsp – ancho chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

How to do this:

Get out your big dutch oven or soup cooking pan. Brown the pork then drain off the fat. Brown onions, peppers and ground beef in a bit of the remaining pork fat, throwing in the garlic at the end of browning process so it doesn’t get bitter. Add the dry spices and let it all kind of cook together so the aromas start to come out. Clear a space in the dutch oven and pour in the beer, letting it bubble off the alcohol a bit, then add the tomatoes, beans, and beef broth (as much as you like depending upon how soupy you want it). Let this stuff cook for NO LESS than an hour.

Now my peppers were pretty spicy. Depending upon your tastes, adjust accordingly. I like to sweat a little bit when I eat chili. Garnish with your favorites. I like cilantro and lime chili tortilla chips with a HUGE helping of pepper/jack cheese and sour cream. Do what you like and please let me know if you make this chili and what you think of it.

Note: I like the 2-Alarm Chili mix because it has no artificial ingredients or chemicals to keep it from clumping together. Real food is good food!

I am not a fan of fall.

I realize this is an unusual sentiment. All over Facebook and Pinterest everyone is proclaiming their love of fall and all of it’s trappings. For me it’s just a reminder that cold is coming, the leaves are dying and we’re in for seven to nine months of brown. It reminds of school starting and, sad to say,  I never liked going back to school because summer was too much fun. It reminds me that winter is coming and bringing the cold. I truly dislike being cold.

I will grant that there are some good things associated with fall. I love bonfires, the fireplace and the one week of beautiful fall foliage. I do love the food associated with fall like the squash: pumpkin, butternut, acorn and spaghetti! I love the soups: beef stew, chili and chowder. I love baking pies and breads. It’s all wonderful comfort food that warms the body and spirit. I’ve posted most of my great soup recipes and pies. I suppose it’s time to branch out and try something new. My mother bakes a pear pie every year from her pear harvest. It’s delicate and sweet and a true treat.

I think next spring I’ll plant some fruit trees. Having just come from the Amalfi Coast in Italy I’m inspired to grow even more.

I took this photo while on my honeymoon in Amalfi, Italy. This is just one of the multitude of groves dotting the mountainous countryside.

Kentucky isn’t ideal for lemons but I can certainly plant an apple, cherry or peach tree. I get so frustrated going to the market to buy fresh peaches only to come home and they are bland and mushy. What a treat it would be to pick fresh peaches every summer and fall.

The olive trees grow wild all over the country too. I would have loved to pick a bunch to bring home but I haven’t the first idea of how they make them edible. We did see a couple men harvesting them outside our hotel. That was really fun.

I also must tell you about my amazing husband. He spoiled me rotten by even taking me to Europe. He then managed to add to the spoiling by buying me a belt, two handbags, two pairs of shoes and two bottles of aged balsamic vinegar, one is 12 years old and the other is 20 years old. If I work up the courage to open and eat them I’ll let you know.