a Super Bowl of Chili


What is better than hunkering down to watch the Super Bowl with a big cup of chili?  Nothing, that’s what.  So here is the recipe that I made this year.  I’m writing it exactly as I made it, because it came out really well.  N said it was the best chili I’ve ever made.  You should know that this is not a fiery chili, but rather a sophisticated and smoky one.

This is one of those dishes that will never come out the same way twice, because you can really adjust or change so many of the ingredients and it will be fantastic.  I was trying to think of a name that would illustrate this point.  Now I have heard of some really awful names for recipes.  (Rachel Ray = guilty!)  Things like “Garbage Pizza” don’t sound very good to me.   I even have a friend that makes a delicious chocolate dessert, but calls it Poo Pie.  Poo Pie!  I’m not going to lie – that kind of freaks me out.  So even though you can throw just about anything into this chili, I’ll refrain from giving it a truly distasteful name – which is why I’m going with Fatty’s Dirty Chili.

Fatty’s Dirty Chili

Please don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients.  It’s a one pot meal so once everything is in you just let it cook away until done.  I promise it’s well worth it.

1 T oil (one little tablespoon for all this chili = awesome)
1 extra-large onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef (I used the leanest mix I could find)
2-3 T chipotle chili powder
2 T dried oregano
½ t coffee (I had a tiny bit of instant coffee left in a jar – so I just threw it in)
3 t ground cumin
1 t ground cinnamon
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 t crushed fennel seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bottle beer (I think I used Sam Adams winter)
1 can diced San Marzano tomatoes 28 oz.
1 can 14.5 oz. diced toms w/chili
Sun dried tomato diced fine
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
2 mini eggplants, chopped (called Indian eggplants)
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
3 zucchini, chopped
* shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, chopped and sautéed (extra step!  Please see step 5.)
*½ tsp. fresh Thyme

1.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven.  (I used my beautiful Martha Stewart cast iron enamel pot.)

2.  When hot, add onions, pobalano, and garlic.  Cook until onions are golden.

3. Add meat.  Cook until fully browned.  Add herbs and spices.  Stir.  Add beer.  Cover and cook.

4.  Add tomatoes, beans, veggies.  Cook with the lid off to reduce liquid.

5.  * Add the sautéed mushrooms in now, along with the thyme.  (As mentioned above, I sautéed these first in a drop of olive oil and then added them, but you don’t need to.  I just happened to like the specific taste of sautéed shiitakes in this dish.)

6.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Enjoy!

  I served my chili with lime zest, lime sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, mild cheddar and diced radish.  I also served some homemade bread that my friend Patty made and it was an excellent accompaniment.  If you’re curious, she told me that it’s a mix from a company called Tastefully Simple.  She made the Savory Wheat Beer Bread.  I’ve added the link below.   




1.  I’d like to try ground turkey in this recipe.
2.  You can definitely use more garlic.  For this amount of chili, I’d try 6 cloves.
3.  I might skip the zucchini next time.  They tasted just fine, but after such a long cooking time they didn’t hold their texture well and didn’t add enough of a difference to matter.  I’d keep the yellow squash though, because their color looked so nice!
4.  I added sun-dried tomatoes because I had some on hand, but next time I think I’d try a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste.
5.  I added the thyme because I happened to have it available, but I don’t think it added much flavor.


If you try this recipe I’d love to know what you think and the way you changed it up.  Share your twists with me!

Also, you can look for Savory Wheat Beer Bread here: