This particular Chili Recipe is a combination of my own original recipe and a very close friend’s recipe fused into one delicious hearty chili. I have exchanged the original ingredients of jalapeno peppers and a few spices in my recipe for something new and this is why!

I have a very special friend who is of Dutch descent and the meals his mother made growing up were very basic with very few spices. This is pretty much how he learned to cook and over the years he has ventured out into the spice rack a bit, but he still shakes his head at my crazy spice world. His love for a certain hot pepper initiated the change for him and he didn’t find it at the local grocery store. My friend is a Marine and served in Iraq, while he was there he became friends with another young man who was Mexican. It seems that this friend’s Mom who lived on the Yucatan Peninsula would send her son habanero peppers to remind him of home and because she knew he loved them.

Well, this Mom didn’t want her son to ever go without his favorite hot pepper, so she didn’t just send a box of them… she would send the whole plant! Yes indeed and my Dutch friend soon became a lover of the Habanero Pepper, definitely kicking up the spice in his life! This pepper is thought to have originated on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. The habanero’s heat is hot and has a fruity citrus like flavor. So this recipe is dedicated to Dave, with thanks and appreciation for his service to our country!


  • 2 lbs ground beef 80/20 or  2 lbs lean beef cubes or  2 lbs sliced cooked beef
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. black pepper
  • 2 T. salt
  • 1 T. habanero chili powder or chipotle chili powder
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 2 med. green peppers, chopped
  • 2 6oz cans of tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 4-5 cups beef stock
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes, fire roasted, 14.5oz
  • 1 22oz tomato puree
  • 1 1lb 13oz can of Kidney beans drained


Ok, let’s start with the choices in beef, ground beef is fine, but I like to use beef cubes or even leftover roast beef. Believe me they all taste great! If you are using the ground beef, you need to brown this in the soup pot on low heat until totally brown, drain the fat off and place the cooked beef in a bowl and set aside. If you are using beef cubes, brown them in a separate pot with 2 T. olive oil, turning often, then add water to the pot,  2 inches over the meat. Put a lid on the pot and cook on low for an hour or until meat falls apart. Now if you have a leftover roast beef, just slice it very thin and set aside while you start the chili.

In a very Large Soup pot, place the olive oil, onion, garlic, habanero pepper, cocoa, cumin, black pepper, salt, habanero chili powder and regular chili powder in the pot and turn to low. Cover and let the flavors sweat and fuse together. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the red pepper, green pepper, tomato paste, vinegar and brown sugar, stir well and cover and cook additional 15 minutes.

Bring heat to medium and add the beef stock, diced tomatoes, tomato puree and the kidney beans. Stir and bring to a simmer and then add the cooked beef with any juice. Stir again and let simmer for 20 minutes. Now serve it up in a big bowl add sour cream and shredded cheese if you like! I love it plain to taste all of those great flavors.

Well I hope you enjoy this recipe, whether snuggling in front of cozy fire or screaming at the TV during one of our nail biting a Raven’s games!!!

Chef Steff