Recipe Corner: The World’s Best Chili

Nicholas Majerus

This chili recipe is the best on the planet. It has a flavor that rolls from the front of your tongue to the back, ending with a little heat. 

As true of all real chili, this chili ain’t got no beans. Beans are a cheap alternative to real, legitimate, God-given meat, and any so-called “chili” with beans is actually no more than a beef stew. 

Prep: 30 mins    Total Time: 1 hr. 45 min.    Yield: ~13 quarts


  • 4 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups yellow onion – diced
  • 2 cups red  bell pepper – diced
  • 4 stalks celery – chopped or diced
  • 2 whole carrots – chopped or diced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers – diced
  • 4 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste 
  • 8-16 garlic cloves (smashed silly or diced)
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (a whole bar of bittersweet, bakers, or dark chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice

Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Thyme
  • 2 tsp. Basil
  • 4 tsp. Oregano
  • 2 tsp. Paprika 
  • 4 tsp. Mexican chili powder
  • 4 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. Onion powder
  • 4 tsp. Dried parsley
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s Cocoa)


  • Assemble the spice mix in an airtight container ahead of time. The ingredients are proportionate.
  • Chop up all the veggies FIRST. 
  • Brown the ground beef on high heat in a huge pot and season with pinches of salt and pepper. Yield is 13.5 quarts, so plan accordingly.
  • Drain off the excess grease, but be sure to leave a little to fry the veggies.
  • Reduce the heat to medium/high and push the meat to one side of the pot.
  • First, add the onion, garlic, and jalapenos to the pot. Let them cook for a few minutes, then add the rest and fry for a few minutes.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper
  • Now, try to get the veggies to the bottom of the pot. We want the veggies to cook and the ground beef to not burn. 
  • Cook for a few minutes, then make some space on the bottom of the pot. 
  • Add the tomato PASTE  and let cook for a minute or so. 
  • Mix everything in the pot together. Then, add the crushed tomatoes on top. 
  • Season the tomatoes with a little salt. 
  • Stir in the spice mix.
  • Keep stirring. Keep a slow boil or simmer. 
  • Wait a few minutes, and add the orange, lemon, and lime juice. 
  • Add the chocolate pieces and let them melt. 
  • Stir for a few minutes, and then taste it. Fix whatever is off. Here is your chance to add more spice, sweetness, acidity, etc. Do what feels right to you.
  • Set the heat to low and cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes. 
  • This chili freezes and reheats exceptionally well. You can keep it on the stove for a few hours too.