Pick Your Vice Chili

This morning, as I was trudging from barn to barn, losing the feeling in my fingers to bitter cold and baler twine, I went to my happy place… food. Frequently when the elements seem too much to bear, I placate my frigid body and brain by traveling to the warmth of whatever I’m planning for supper. Today it had to be comfort food, and chill was on my brain.

I make pretty decent chili, if I do say so myself, but the same ole, same ole was getting a little ho-hum. I figured I’d see what other people do to spice things up. When I found a recipe that contained strong coffee, dark beer, and chocolate, I knew I’d met my match. The recipe I ended up with is greatly altered from the one I found, but the results are pretty damn good. I like things spicy, so keep that in mind when you throw in the peppers, the cayenne, and the chili sauce. This is not for the weak of heart.


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 can dark beer (I used stout)
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 6 hot red Thai chilis, minced
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper, minced

How to:

  • In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until slightly translucent
  • Add the ground beef and cook, stirring until crumbly and browned
  • Throw in everything else and mix together well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve sprinkled with grated cheese of your choice.

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