Worth the Wait Chili

"Growing up my mom just through a few cans of stuff into a pound of hamburger and called it good. It wasn't. I have tried about a dozen chili recipes and while good they weren't great. Also I needed a way to get my boys to eat more vegetables, so I devised this recipe. One of the keys is finely chopping and grating the vegetables so they cannot be seen and picked out. When I make this for a group I am always hoping there will be enough left over to freeze. There never is."

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

2.5 to 4 hours

Paired With

Main Protein



Ground beef 2 pounds, 1 pound, 1 Tablespoon, 5 Cloves, 2, 1, 2 stalks, 1 large, 2 large, 1 medium, 2 squares, 1/4 cup, 1 Tablespoon, 1 Tablespoon, 3 Tablespoons, 1 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 small, 6 ounce can, 14.5 ounce can, 1 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1 15-16 ounce can, 1 15-16 ounce can, 1 15-16 ounce can, 1 15-16 ounce can
Hot pork sausage
Olive oil
Garlic, minced
Onions, finely chopped
Bell pepper, any color finely chopped
Celery, finely chopped
Jalapeño pepper, very finely chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Zucchini, finely grated
Dark chocolate, 80-95%
Beef flavored Better than Bouillon
Liquid smoke
New Mexico Chili Powder, see note
Smoked paprika
Juice from lime
Tomato paste
Diced tomatoes with juice
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Chick peas, drained and rinsed
Pinto beans, drained and rinsed


1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 pound sausage

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 onions, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 medium zucchini, finely grated

2 squares 80-90% dark chocolate

1/4 cup tequila

1 Tablespoon beef flavored Better than Bouillon (can substitute 3 beef bouillon cubes)

1 Tablespoon liquid smoke

3 Tablespoon New Mexico chili powder – See note.

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 6 ounce can tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained

1 can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed

In stock or other very large pot, brown hamburger and sausage in olive oil. (If your hamburger is not lean, omit the olive oil.) As it browns, add the vegetables as you get them chopped. When the meat is well browned add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover.  Allow to simmer for at least 2 hours. The longer you let it simmer the better the flavor.

Serve with corn chips, chopped onions, grated cheese and sour cream.

Note: There are a multitude of varieties of chili pepper. If you use chili powder in a bottle add 2 more tablespoons of it. If you are using a specialty chili powder, you may want to start with one tablespoon of the powder and add more to taste to get your desired heat level.