Eric's Chili Recipe

2-3 hours of prep-while-cooking time. 

At least 90 more minutes of simmering time. 

Total = 3 1/2 hours (at least). 

These proportions serve about 12 hungry people. If you want to cook for less (or more) the ingredient amounts adjust proportionally. 


3 lbs ground beef (ground turkey works too)

3 lbs Roma tomatoes 

3 lbs tomatillos (peeled, cleaned)

3 lbs canned pinto beans (I don’t love overly beany chili, so this is a relatively small amount; you can easily double this proportion)

3 lbs poblano peppers

3 lbs yellow onions

9 oz peeled garlic 


1 cup Chili powder (I prefer Penzey’s medium hot, but whatever you have available. Remember you need a lot).

2/3 cup Cumin

3 tbspn Brown Sugar 

1 tbspn Salt for chili

1 teaspoon (or so) Salt for ground beef

1 tbspn (or so) Smoked Paprika

Black and/or White Pepper to taste

Note: if smoked paprika isn’t available, regular is ok. Smoked is a bit better in this recipe, but not a requirement. 

Brown ground beef in chili pot. High heat. Season w salt and pepper as if your only meal is this ground beef. Don’t drain. 

Add garlic and onions to chili pot. Re-season as if your only meal is this pot of ground beef, garlic and onions. I tend to overdo it a little here. 

Cook on high heat until onions and garlic are happily translucent. 

One tasty variation is instead of just adding the raw garlic to the pot is that you roast the garlic before it goes into the food processor. If you do this, start roasting the garlic before you start the beef, and make sure to add the roasted garlic after the onions are translucent. 

Process and pour the tomatoes and tomatillos into the pot. I tend to prefer a less chunky, more liquified level of food processing, but everyone’s got a different approach to food texture. 

Clean, core, seed, and dice the poblanos. Place in a casserole dish. Liberally season with smoked paprika. Bake at 400. Look for the peppers to be slightly oven charred but not blackened. This takes about an hour in my oven. 

Spice the chili: add chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and salt. Stir thoroughly. 

When the poblano peppers are done, mix them into the chili. Stir. 

Add the canned beans to the chili. Stir. Do not add the liquid from the bean can(s); strain the beans in a colander. 

Let chili cook on low heat for at least 90 minutes (preferably more) after adding the poblano peppers and beans. Stir and taste often. Adjust the seasoning as you like throughout. (Advice: be conservative with the salt, once there’s too much there’s no going back). Some people might want spicier chili: if so, you might add some cayenne pepper or some premade hot sauce—whatever you’re into. One thing, I’d avoid hot sauces with lots of vinegar — the hyper-acidity doesn’t work well with the brown sugar and poblanos, in my opinion. 

Serve however you like. Some people like to serve with raw diced onions, shredded cheese, sliced cheese, oyster crackers, crumbled tortilla chips... it’s all good. I like to make this with sourdough grilled cheese, but it stands up well on its own. Whatever floats your boat! Enjoy!