6 Hour Chili

I’ve spent years perfecting my chili recipe. It’s still subject to whatever ingredients I have on hand, but it’s safe to say it’s about done. It’s not competition chili by any means and it’s more of a compromise than I’d prefer.

I like really spicy Southwestern chili with no beans, but my wife likes a milder, more Southeastern chili with lots of beans. As a result, this recipe makes a medium-heat chili with one can of pinto beans for added texture and flavor.

Here’s everything you need:


  • 1 lb. Ground Sirloin
  • 1 lb. Pork Sausage
  • 1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Tomato Puree (or crushed)
  • 1 14.5 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can Beef Broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 14.5 oz can Pinto Beans, undrained
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, diced
  • 3 Bell Peppers, diced
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, diced
  • 1 head Garlic, chopped
  • 1½ bottles of Beer

Spice Mixture

  • 3½ teaspoons Ancho Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Sage
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne (to be used later)


  1. Finely dice all vegetables. The idea is to have a smooth chili when it’s ready to serve (I also threw in half a red onion from the fridge):

  2. Mix all the herbs and spices (except the cayenne) in a separate bowl. Break up any lumps with a wooden spoon:

  3. Brown the beef and pork, taking care to finely break it up. After pouring off the fat, add the tomato paste to the mixture and brown everything for another five minutes or so. When it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, pour in the can of beef broth and deglaze the bottom.
  4. Brown the diced peppers, garlic and onions in a skillet, and try to get a nice sear on them. Use a pinch of salt to draw as much sugar out of them as possible. The char adds a sweet, smokey taste to the chili. Next, deglaze the pan with the can of diced tomatoes and pour everything into the dutch oven with the meat mixture.
  5. Finally, add the tomato puree, pinto beans, spice mixture and a bottle of beer to the pot. Cook uncovered on a low simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. It should look like this:

  6. Once the mixture has reduced by about ¾ inch, add the lid and simmer for another 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the chili has been cooking for a total of 4½ hours, add half a bottle of beer and the ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Incorporate it well and return the lid to the pot. (If you like a little more heat in your chili, this is when you should add more spices). The chili should be thicker and a darker color at this point:

  8. After 6 hours, the chili is ready to be served. Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives/scallions and sliced jalapenos.

You can really play around with this recipe. Add more tomatoes if you like a thicker sauce. If you like your chili spicier, add more fresh peppers. I usually just make my batch according to this recipe and leave some cayenne powder and a bottle of Sriracha out. That seems to work fine for the guys who are compelled to boast about their tolerance for heat. If you don’t like beans, just leave them out. I should add that this chili is really good on hot dogs, especially when there are no beans in it.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

I use a stovetop dutch oven to cook my chili, but that’s only because I have to use one to brown the meat and peppers. You could make this in a crock pot with the following changes: Omit the salt in the spice mixture, add a (2 cup) beef bouillon cube, and only add one beer. Keep the lid on for the entire six hours and season to taste with salt and pepper just prior to serving.

6 Hour Chili
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