Main dish Soups Tex-Mex

A true, authentic Texas chili recipe

Texas chili with seven chiles DSC3944

I love to buy chiles, especially when I find ones that are soft and pliant, so fresh you can imagine they were drying in a Mexican field maybe just last week.

I have to be careful, however, when shopping because my storage space is very limited. And the other day when I opened my cabinet, out came tumbling three bags of chiles that hit me on the head. I then realized that I needed to make something that would use up a lot of my supply. Fortunately, there was a big football game and nothing pleases people watching winter sports more than a big bowl of spicy red Texas chili.

Now, I’ve written about chili before and provided you with general guidelines on how I make my chili. I don’t use beans, I don’t use tomatoes but most importantly, I don’t use measurements. It works for me, but can be frustrating if you’ve never made chili and desire more strict instructions.

Authentic Texas chili with seven chiles | Homesick Texan
So for this batch, I decided to multi-task and wrote down what I was adding to the pot when I made my what I dubbed my seven-chile chili. Of course, there were a couple of mishaps—I added way too many ground cloves in the beginning and accidentally added cardamom instead of coriander during one spice addition. But the best thing about chili is that the longer it cooks, the flavors both deepen and blend into a complex dish where the sum of the bowl is greater than its parts.

People often ask if my chili is real deal Texas-style chili. I’ll say yes because I’m a Texan and it’s the chili I grew up eating. Though defining what authentic Texas chili is can be difficult. The term “chili” comes from chile con carne, which translates to peppers with meat. And that’s at heart what I make, with the addition of some spices and aromatics. But there have been some grumbles.

Some people have grumbled because there’s cinnamon and chocolate in my chili, though these flavors are commonly found in Mexican cuisine. Some people have grumbled because there aren’t tomatoes in my chili, though I don’t think that cowboys on the range had access to tomatoes all the time. And some people have grumbled because I don’t use Gebhardt’s Chili Powder, though I can’t buy that in New York and using fresh chiles will trump chili powder any day.

Authentic Texas chili with seven chiles | Homesick Texan

But no matter what people say, I love my chili and usually, those that eat it love it, too. So here is some of my chili with measurements. Enjoy!

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Texas chili with seven chiles DSC3944
5 from 15 votes

Seven-chile Texas chili

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 6 anchos, seeded and stemmed
  • 2 pasilla, seeded and stemmed
  • 2 costeños, seeded and stemmed
  • 2 guajillos, seeded and stemmed
  • 4 chiles de arbol
  • 4 pieces bacon
  • 4 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 chipotles in adobo
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 1/3 Mexican hot chocolate tablet, grated


  1. Heat the dried chiles (anchos, pasillas, costenos, guajillos, and chiles de arbol) in a dry, cast-iron skillet on medium for a couple of minutes on each side. Turn off the heat and then add enough water to the skillet to cover the chiles, and let them soak for half an hour.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, fry up your bacon. When done, remove from pan and crumble (Don’t worry if you opt to eat a slice—you deserve it!) and leave the bacon grease in the pot (it should be about 3 tablespoons). In the pot, cook your beef in the bacon grease on medium heat, a few minutes on each side until lightly browned. You will probably have to cook these in 2 batches.

  3. Remove the browned beef from the pot, and add your onions. Cook on medium until clear. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Put the beef back in the pot, and mix in the coffee, the beer, water, bacon crumbles, cumin, cinnamon, clove, allspice, coriander, and cayenne. Add salt to taste and turn the heat up to high.

  4. Your soaking chiles should be soft by now. Drain and rinse, discarding the soaking water (it will be bitter) and place them in a blender along with the canned chipotle chiles and one cup of fresh water. Puree until nice and smooth and then add the chile puree to the chili pot.

  5. When chili begins to boil, turn heat down to low and let simmer for five hours, stirring occasionally. Taste it once an hour, and if the flavors are too muted, feel free to add more of any of the spices. Also, it starts to get too dry, add more liquid (your choice!).

  6. After 5 hours, take a Mexican hot chocolate disc, and finely grate 1/3 of it into the pot. Scoop out 1 cup of broth and add the masa harina. Mix it well and then reincorporate it back into the pot. Stir until chili is thickened.

  7. Let the chili simmer for another half hour or so. Taste and adjust seasonings. When done, serve with cheddar, onions and tortillas.

Recipe Notes

If you can’t find all of these chiles, I would just use the more readily available anchos and chipotles. I’d use 6-8 anchos, following the same soaking and pureeing method, and two chipotles.

  1. heidigoseek

    recipes like this come awfully close to tempting me out of vegetarianism…i will definitely make this for my family. they’ll gobble it up!

  2. I just have to delurk for the forthcoming chili debate. #1 – Homesick Texan is right – real Texas chili never met a tomato.
    #2 – True Texas chili can be any way you like it provided you use the basics – meat, chili powder, comino (cumim), onion and garlic.

    The rest is really up to you. I’ve won a few chili cookoffs in my day and judged many more, so pardon the smugness, but i just can’t seem to help myself on this subject.

    FWIW – my chili is modified from the 1984 Texas State Chili Winner and contains only the basics except for two things. I hate chili ground because of the sinew, so I use ground beef, and I mix it pound for pound with venison as we are avid hunters and we eat what we shoot.

    Also, I occaisonally add Ranch Style Beans. It’s a big no-no in real cook-offs, but I love them so much – Santa once gave me a whole case of Ranch Style Beans for Christmas.

    I also use masa and beer to thicken and only use Bolner’s “Fiesta” Brand spices because they are from San Antonio (near me) and they are Aggies (like me)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the blog – been lurking for months – but just had to add my two cents to this one!

  3. My good god, the spice list takes up most of the page. I am slacked jawed and wanting chili right now. Send a bowl my way!

  4. Thanks for measuring everything out. It’s always good to see an exact recipe before completely winging it. I might have to give this a try next weekend – can’t think of a better home for my long-hoarded dried chiles!

  5. Someday I just have to try chili your way. Even though I’m an authentic Texan, I’ve been told – even by my half-English daughter – that I don’t make true Texas chili.

    BTW, I had some chili on a baked potato for lunch today – leftovers from Sunday – but I make mine with tomatoes and three different kinds of beans!

  6. This is beautiful and 7 chilies. Wow! I don’t think my supermaket carries that many.

  7. Miss Meat and Potatoes

    You had me at coffee and beer. Genius.

  8. Just a Plane Ride Away

    Oh, darn! I just made a vat of chili today for a luncheon tomorrow. But I am setting your recipe aside for next time. All of those ingredients sounds like they’d make a beautifully complex bowl of red. Thanks for the recipe!

    PS I’m a firm believer in no beans in the pot. Though I did have a bowl of chili with beans here in England. It wasn’t half bad. I just wouldn’t call it Texas Chili 😉

  9. It sounds delicious. I am a fan of most every kind of chili, but yours definitely sounds like something special.

  10. So glad you posted this! I was just telling a friend how I wanted to try making real chili using your instructions from the two-part post about Texas Red. But this makes it easier for me! Just reading the ingredient list makes me dream of how the house will smell while it’s all simmering together! My pantry is stocked with about half of the chiles on the list, so I’m halfway there 😉

  11. “Some people have grumbled because there’s cinnamon and chocolate in my chili, though these flavors are commonly found in Mexican cuisine.”

    I immediatly think of a mole, and that can’t be bad … can it? I have had chili with either one of the other, but not both. I may have to try that and see how it works for me. I am always afraid I will over cinnamon the pot and ruin it. The recipe I use most does not have cinnamon but I am not adverse to adding it.

    “Some people have grumbled because there aren’t tomatoes in my chili, though I don’t think that cowboys on the range had access to tomatoes all the time.”

    I detest tomato in my chili. I have had it both ways and I prefer the flavor of the chilis to shine and not get muddied by the tomato.

    “… using fresh chiles will trump chili powder any day.”

    I can not agree more. You can’t see it, but I am clapping. Well, I was clapping … now I a typing. 🙂

  12. The Big Guy

    “…the sum of the bowl is greater than its parts.”



  13. deceiverofmen

    I can’t believe people grumble about chocolate in chili.

    Your addition of chocolate and cinnamon remind me of my dad, he used to put bottled mole into his chili. It was one of his secrets (oh no! i let it out!:))

    Vegetarian above: Try tempeh and/or lentils instead of meat. You still want to brown the tempeh in oil, but you don’t have to do it as long as beef. As you mix it around when adding other ingredients, some of it will break off so you’ll have both cubes and crumbles in the pot. Making the “meat” meld with the gravy just like real chili.

    I bet it’ll beat the hell out of all those veggiesoups alling themselves vegetarian chili.

    Also the 365 canned veggie chili at whole foods is pretty good, I always add extra chili powder and a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder.

  14. Oh, my. This sounds so warm mand inviting. I love it! Gloria at Foods and Flavors of San Antonio has a monthly chili cookoff… I bet this would win! 🙂

  15. Paula Maack

    Oh, Baby!!! This recipe is sounds magnificent!!

    Thank you, Lisa. I just made another batch of my Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne and had some last night, and STILL your recipe tempts me to to distraction right now.

    I just defrosted another chuck roast I had planned to use for something else. Now that will have to wait. Your beautiful chili shall be next up!

    Thank you, Lisa!!


    ~ Paula

    • Lee Taylor

      5 stars
      Just made your Texas red with a couple of changes., for some reason the local Mercado was out of cosento chilies, so I substituted some New Mexican dried chilies and a dash of the Chlean mix called merquen which is made by the largest indigenous groups in the country. With cornstarch instead of massa it still came out pretty good.

  16. Samba00

    My chili recipe is similar to yours (though just as free-form). The only difference is that I soak fresh chiles (sandia or jalapeno) in the beer overnight.

    Also, I use 1/2 pound of bacon, and I eat all of it (why stop at one piece).

  17. This is great timing. I got my new immersion blender the other day and have been putting off a trip to Fairway to pick up chiles, but this put me over the edge. No anchos though, which is weird, but I’ll take New Mexico chiles over anchos anyday. Skipped the guajillos to try some puya chiles… they seem to be quite hot.

    Also, I didn’t have all of the stuff to maintain parity with your recipe, but we know that’s what makes chile great. I like to add some mexican oregano and hungarian paprika in my chili, as well as jalapeno slices for effect.

    Great post as always.

  18. I love chiles and I buy too many of them myself. If I didn’t store mine at knee level I’d get brained by them too.

    Chili – have you ever had it made with barbecued brisket? Killer!

  19. Even at my well-stocked Whole Foods it can be difficult to find a good variety of dried chiles. Now you’ve got me craving a bowl of chili. I’ll have to hound the grocery guys a bit harder!

  20. Oh yum, yum, yum! This is over the top good! I didn’t expect to see the coffee and beer in the ingredient list! Cool! I just love your cooking.

  21. masdevallia

    I’m a Californian, so I don’t mind admitting that chili has never been my thing. Reading this, I understand why. Chili here always has beans and tomatoes and usually hamburger. Give me the chuck with real peppers seasoned with my favorite mole ingredients, and I’ll bet I could wave the white flag as a chili convert. I’ll try it!

  22. Netts Nook

    Utahan here can’t wait to try love coffee in anything. Whole lot of spices going on. Thanks can’t wait.

  23. Lisa Fain

    Heidgoseek–I hope they love it! And you could always make it with beans or TVP if you wanted it to be vegetarian.

    Abby–Wow! Thanks for weighing in on the topic! I love Ranch Style Beans, too–I wish they sold them here.

    Jerry–It is a lot of spices, isn’t it?

    Moriah–This is a perfect way to use up a bunch of dried chiles.

    Bee–Ha! I think you’re daughter may be correct.

    Paula–I hope you enjoy it!

    Helene–Thank you! And sadly, my local supermarket doesn’t either, hence my travels to Queens.

    Miss Meat and Potatoes–You can’t go wrong with those two!

    Just a Plane Ride Away–Did you have chili at Bee’s house?

    Kalyn–I don’t know if it’s special, but I like it.

    Nicole–Your house will smell like chili heaven.

    Kelly–I love mole and that’s what I think of, too. And if you start small you should be fine with adding the cinnamon.

    The Big Guy–Aw, thanks!

    Deceiverofmen–I’ll have to try your dad’s secret ingredient someday–there’s a store in Queens that sells freshly made mole paste that I’ve been wanting to try. And thanks for the tips for vegetarian substitutions.

    Karen–It’s very warm and inviting–perfect food for a group.

    Samba–Brilliant! I’ll have to try that next time!

    Dustym–They don’t have anchos at Fairway? That is odd, but I guess it’s cool if you prefer New Mexico chiles.

    Greg–I haven’t made it with barbecued brisket, just unsmoked brisket. Sounds awesome!

    Karen–Please do–I know I’ve been bugging my WF for years. Not only does mine not have a good selection of chiles, but they’re also old and crumbly. And that’s shameful behavior for a Texas-based company!

    Paula–Thank you!

    Masdevalia–That’s not chili–that’s bean and hamburger soup!

    Netts Nook–Enjoy!

  24. Scott at Real Epicurean

    This is the second chilli I’ve seen in a couple of days, and it really makes me think – you guessed – that I NEED some chilli right now!

  25. Wading Thru

    Love the post. I cook chili much the same way, but with fewer varieties of peppers. It’s easy to put too much cloves or cinnamon.

  26. Anonymous

    Just how spicy does this turn out?

    I love the flavor chilies give off, but I’m not a fan of the heat.

  27. Jennifer


  28. Mr. Kurtz

    So about how much does this make? I am going to cook this for around 15 people, and I luckily have the equipment to make two large batches.

    And (strangely, I’ll admit) I have a couple people around that don’t like the smell or taste of bacon; I imagine using olive oil in place of bacon fat would probably be ok?

  29. I’m still a vegetarian (though when I’m in Round Top, TX this July that will go out the window. The sausage they make is out of this world) but I really love modeling my chili after yours. The cinnamon is a great addition, and a few cans of beans and some extra tvp for texture work wonders if you don’t eat meat. I can’t get any of the chiles here (in Great Britain, making me a homesick Texan as well), so I have to use chili powder and (alot) of Cholula instead. However, I can’t wait to get back to San Antonio and really give this a run for its money. Your blog has kept me going while I’m over here, so many thanks to you.

  30. AmyLynn

    Love it!!! I live in So Cal, and have many resources for the chiles. I am just finishing a delightful Braised short Rib dish, that uses anchos, chiplotles, clove, cinnamon, molasses, and other really good stuff. The recipe calls for a side of black beans, and that makes my beany soul very happy. I am baking a potato for my man, as he gets tired of the “Bean of The Day” Menu. I will try your chile recipe next; it has all the stuf that makes me happy. Cholula I have, I also enjoy Tapatio and Pico Pica- absolute staples in my ‘hood.

    So thanks-

    AmyLynn, form Sylmar, California

  31. Wow! I’m getting hungry. All your recipes look great!

  32. Jennifer

    I never knew until recently that peppers that are the same, are called different things when they are dried. Alton Brown on Food TV had a whole thing about it. I love chili, its the one thing a year my husband will make! I’ll have to show him this recipe! Thanks for sharing

  33. Jennifer

    So, I took the plunge and made this today, and I have a few questions. 1) Where is the 7th chile? I only count 6. 2) At some point, is the crumbled bacon supposed to go back in? (I just threw it in at the spice step.)

    Boy, does this dish change as it simmers! The first time I tasted it, it was bitter and hot. By adding some more spices (and brown sugar) and giving it more time, the flavor deepened a lot. Then the masa and cocoa brought their gifts to the party. In the end, it was still a little hot for me, but I have a strategy for next time. My husband gobbled it up!

    Keep the great recipes coming!

  34. Lisa Fain

    Scott–Better get it while it’s still cold!

    Wading Thru–It is, I try to start with a not enough just in case.

    Anon–Not too spicy or hot, surprisingly–it just has a mellow, deep flavor.


    Mr. Kurtz–Good question! I’d say it makes enough to feed seven or eight people. It turns out thick but can be easily thinned and stretched by just adding more liquid (and more masa to thicken the gravy). And sure, olive oil is fine.

    John P.–You’re very welcome. And you might try if you’re looking for chiles.

    AmyLynn—Cholula is my favorite!


    Jennifer–You’re welcome!

    Jennifer–The seventh chile is the cayenne. And yes, you put the bacon crumbles back in the pot–thanks for the correction. And glad y’all liked the chili!

  35. Cool! I just got to judge a chili cook-off today and then I come by here and what do I see-more chili! I was craving more chili when I left the cook-off, but now I’m getting desperate for a big bowl of Texas Red that I don’t have put the lid back on and pass to the Judge on my right!
    Your recipe sounds great (gonna have to make it that way VERY soon), but have to admit, don’t think any of the ones I tasted today had chocolate in them.

  36. Now you’re making me homesick for Texas, too. And showcasing how piss poor my quickie version of chili is…sniff sniff.

    And are you using the stems of those chiles?

  37. m. leblanc

    I just made this tonight. I couldn’t find masa harina (or I just wasn’t looking hard enough), so I only added 1 cup of water along with the beer/coffee. It came out the perfect consistency after about 4 and a half hours. I put the chocolate in after 4 hours–it tasted really good and I was getting super hungry. Didn’t use costeñas, because I couldn’t find them, and still delicious. I did a whole half-tablet of the chocolate, and browned my onions instead of just getting them translucent, for more flavor.

    Absolutely delicious recipe. Such a smoky, mellow flavor with great after-heat.

  38. Lisa Fain

    Nikki–I judged a chili cook-off once, and I know what you mean–afterwards I was still craving chili!

    Wendy–I’ve removed the stems.

    M. Leblanc–Yay! I’m so glad you liked it. And costenas are hot and smoky, so more chipotles would be a good substitution.

  39. Tommy in Toronto

    Well now that I’ve located real dried chile peppers here in Southern Ontario, I have no excuse for procrastination.

  40. Hi! I’m new to your blog, and I have to say, I am totally enchanted! Yours is the most beautiful food blog I’ve seen. You go girl. I’m no Texan, but after reading your blog I’m about ready to become one. 🙂

  41. hi there! love your blog, having lived in texas for 6 years and now in new york. i’ve been looking for a good place to get mexican groceries (dried chiles, avocado leaves, cheese) and was wondering if you’d share where the grocery you go to in queens is? would super appreciate it!

  42. Wow…this is a great recipe…the addition of coffee is a great idea…I have always added chocolate..Thanks as always for another one of your GREAT RECIPES!

  43. Dr. Electro

    I love Texas chili. I don’t use tomatoes very often, either. Gebhart’s is my fallback spice when I don’t have or am too olazy to grind up my own chiles. I prefer the fresh stuff, of course.

    My signature finish has always been to finely dice a fresh jalapeno and sprinkle it over the chili just before I remove it from the heat. I’ve had a few complaints about the heat but only from damn Yankees and sandlappers from South Carolina.

  44. Ranchand

    I had that same chile avalanche this morning. This batch does have tomatoes, but I can go either way on the subject. This recipe looks wonderful and 90 mins in has the house smelling Awesome. Lisa, if you ever get out north of Ft. Worth look me up I would love to cook a meal with you.

  45. I love your photos per usual, and I wanted to add that darn the naysayers 🙂 it looks delicious. As for “authentic” I was reading something recently that explained nothing is “authentic” because every cuisine evolves with influences from others, so what’s to make that evolution/fusion (if I may be so bold) any more or less authentic? As time goes on, it, too, will be accepted as part of that cuisine… haha. I have people jumping down my back over what I add or don’t add to various dishes I make, so I emphasize they are not “authentic” anything but “good” “tasty” “delicious” … and worth a try if they contain things you like 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe!!!

  46. Josh Gunn


    I am making your recipe right now. I realized at the last minute that by "coffee," you probably meant a brewed up, right? I stopped myself before putting coffee grounds in . . . .

    I'll pop buy once I'm finished!

    Enjoy your blog!

    Dr. Bachelor

  47. Lisa Fain

    Hey Josh–er, yeah, brewed coffee. I never even thought to make that qualification. I'll correct the recipe now. And hope the recipe works for you! Though it's hard to go wrong as long as you cook it long enough!

  48. Josh Gunn

    Lisa: It was done. I am full and satisfied, and smoking a padron stogie for the accomplishment. It is a very complex chili flavor–akin, in a way, to mole. I couldn't find all the chilis, so made some substitutions, but even so, it came out grand.

    And you know, it will be even better tomorrow!

    I like my chili hot, so I suspect the next time I make it I will add some serranos.

    Excellent recipe! Hats off to you!


  49. Anonymous

    I did a google search to try and find some hidden secrets for texas style chili. Once I came across your recipe, I was shocked to find that my current version is almost identical to yours! The only thing I've done different is kept the chili soaking water, but I'm going to try discarding it next time. Maybe this virginia boy is on the right track and doesn't need any secrets…

  50. I made this a couple of days ago and it was amazing! Actually, it still is amazing because I still have some in my fridge! It made at least 3 meals worth of food for me and my boyfriend. Oh, it's so good.

    I could only find dried anchos here in rural western Massachusetts, so it was maybe a little less flavorful than it could have been. I'm going to try ordering the other chilies online for the next time I make it.

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! Next up: chipotle sweet potato soup. I can't wait.

  51. Stephen Foster

    OMG This has totally changed how I think about chili. I have only ever made my mother's recipe. I am going to make this for our office chili cook-off just to mess with everyone's preconceptions! Can't wait to get my hand on all those chilis.

  52. testpattern

    Ms. Lisa,
    Just a note of thanks. Despite a six-year residency in Houston, I never really had a for real chili (apart from mom's ground beef with tomato sauce and packaged spices). So after living in San Francisco for a while I began a romance with Texas Red based on John Thorne's recipe in Serious Pig, eventually intersecting with yours. Mine is definitely a hybrid of those two, and my gratitude for the product is eternal.

    Speaking of Thorne's recipe, have you experimented with adding lime at the end? I find that it adds the acidity that some people haplessly search for in adding tomato.

  53. Pontchartrain Pete

    New Orleans isn't a chili town by any means, but we appreciate hand-crafted, slow food of any type. I decided to forgo making jambalaya or gumbo for Super Bowl Sunday and have a pot of your Texas Red simmering on stove now. I'll check back in with the results.

  54. Lisa Fain

    Pontchartrain Pete–I am honored! Hope y'all enjoy it. Meanwhile, I have a big pot of red beans & rice simmering away on the stove. I like this food-culture exchange program!

  55. Made your recipe with a few slight tweaks (namely, I upped the anchos and adobos since one of the peppers was not available to me even in SF's Mission District) — added epizote, and a lot more of the dried spices, and used Negro Modelo (dark, of course) for the beer. Turned out great, and got plenty of rave comments. Don't underestimate the power of good all grass-fed beef, too.

    — Scott

  56. We recently tried your chili recipe and loved it. We do, however, admit to making a couple alterations…hope you approve.

  57. Lael Hazan

    Hearty and authentic. I'm currently trying various regional chili's from all over the US. I'm looking forward to making the time for this one. That "the sum of the bowl is greater than its parts", is a wonderful phrase.
    Thank you

  58. Awsome! Tried the recipe here in Switzerland with Mulatos, Anchos, Guajilos and some Thai chillies to give the extra heat. The chilli reminded me so much of a Mole my mum used to made when I was a kid. Thank you!

  59. I'm a new Texan and have a lot to learn. I made this recipe the other week, my oh my is it ever good! I couldn't find the chocolate or masa harina for the finish, but next time I will have them. I like that this recipe is so affordable, especially if you can find the peppers in bulk like my local H.E.B. has them. Thank you for posting, you have added a great recipe to my life.

  60. That's quite the ingredients list, I particularly like the addition of brewed coffee and beer. Being from New Zealand I haven't had the pleasure of tasting an authentic Texas chilli dish, but I would love to have a go at making one sometime.

  61. Ed mentions something interesting:

    Masa Harina is one of those things that might be hard for some folks to find. Look near your corn meal or speciality flours. It's usually there. Or look for the green and white box of Armour Manteca/Lard. Masa harina is usually near or next to it, or across the aisle from it. Probably because it's the primary emulsifier for frijoles.

    For the Mexican chocolate, in the Southwest, look for the hot chocolate. There will be an Abuelita brand in red and yellow packaging on one of the top shelves.It will be the large flat package, about the size of the very large Hershey's bar.

    I don't know about finding it in other parts of the country. If you have a large Mexican-American population in your area, find out where they shop. It'll be there. You'll never go back to Swiss Miss if you ever try Abuelita!

  62. Karen from Globetrotter Diaries

    I tried making this for my own blog and it turned out great!!! Such bold flavors, I really loved it. Thanks!!

  63. Anonymous

    I made this in a crockpot and it rocked! Thank you so much. It was just like my mom's who had that San Antonio flair.

  64. Hey friend. Fellow Houstonian/homesick Texan in NYC here. Just wanted to pass along some info on a little gem of a Latin grocery store that you may find more convenient than Queens, depending on the neighborhoods you frequent. Billy's Marketplace (C-Town) on S. 1st and Havermeyer in Williamsburg has all 7 chiles…in one place! No masa harina though. Your chili is BOMB, by the way. It's simmering away on my stove as I type. Thanks a million – this website is my missing piece. Oh how I miss watermelon juice from Goode Company Mexican and Berryhill tamales and breakfast burritos from that shack on Bellaire Blvd and Ruchi's margaritas and oh I could go on and on…

  65. I made this last weekend for family and it was a homerun/touchdown/slamdunk/pick-your-metaphor. Definitely worth the time, effort, and copious chilies. I say this as an Ohio guy (now in Brooklyn) who loves a bowl of real Cincinnati 5-way. Who says you can't enjoy both TX and OH styles (when done right).

    Thank you for such a well-written, clear, beautifully photographed, and delicious recipe/blog.

    For other Brooklynites attempting this: I found *all* of the dried pepers at Steve's C-Town on 9th St in Park Slope, everything else at Union Market. I thought 4 lbs of chuck would make way too much but it was the right amount. The trimming/cubing of the aforementioned chuck took a lot longer than I expected (but is worth the effort). For the record I used Stumptown House Blend coffee and Goose Island Mild Winter brew (it's December and cold). Neither has tasted so good as they did combined in this great pot of red. Cheers!

  66. Mary Kathryn

    I'm new to your blog and have not read all the comments YET, but I thought I'd mention
    1. they do sell cans of Ro-Tel around the corner at Zabars (Bway and W. 81st). Someone probably already mentioned it, but just in case…
    2. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler had a profound impact on me as a child. I recommend it to kids these days, but they don't seem to have the same reaction. Finally figured out it's because I'm giving it to kids who are living in NYC and who consider the museum their very own playground (as my son does. Aren't they lucky?)
    3.LOVE your recipes, photography, writing…so glad to have found you! There seem to be a few of us Texans here in NYC. Your blog makes me feel less homesick. Thanks.

  67. suzannes-people

    I grew up in Houston but never had chili quite like this. I made it last weekend and though I now live in the New York City area(Maplewood, NJ), I was able to find all the dried chilis. What a fantastic, soulful bowl of chili this makes. Spicy yes, but the layers of heat is very complex. This should make the cookbook.

    Doug Jones

  68. Charles Robinson

    I found your recipe while I was looking around chili recipes for a party. My party was all about chilies the fruit, not chili the dish, but this spoke to me as being authentic. The use of cinnamon and chocolate brings it back to the Mexican roots. I also use a Mexican chocolate that's infused with cinnamon.

    People absolutely love it. Many who say they don't like chili have asked for this recipe and made it themselves. It's a lot of steps and it's daunting to some people, but they persevere because they enjoy it so much.

    So thank you for taking the time to compose this. It's very much appreciated.

  69. Anonymous

    This recipe is banging! i am a misplaced texan in orlando florida. despite its moniker, florida has been rainy recently. it was perfect Chili weather today! i made a big pot of this stuff. Hands down this is the best chili i have ever made. thanks for the recipe!

  70. Alex Stanton

    Its Wednesday, and I'm preparing for a chili cook off that takes place Saturday night. I've never made chili before, but I'm confident that I can still make a run for it, especially with a super-authentic recipe such as this. I do have a few questions:

    – How would you modify this for competition? This is not an official ICS event, but its still about knocking socks off with the first bite.

    – I have a number of small red chili peppers my girlfriend grew in the garden, I'm not sure exactly what kind they are, but they're damn hot, is it too risky to include an unknown quantity such as these? They're fresh (not dried), does that change anything?

    – I have until saturday at 7pm, and this is a cook it at home, bring it to the party kind of thing (again quite different from ICS rules). What would be the absolute best time to start it? Would it make more sense to cook it 3 days ahead of time and then heat it up? or should I make it day of?

    Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes

  71. Lisa Fain

    Alex–I've never cooked for competition, but chili always tastes better the next day.

  72. ChiliDude

    I live on the East Coast, but my auto license plate reads "TX CHILI", and I brew chili with cubed meat instead of ground meat. In years past, my chili was made with homegrown chiles that were steamed and frozen for future use. This year was a gardening disaster. No fresh chiles for chili. I've become fond of the Indian chile called the 'ghost pepper' (bhut jolokia) and still have some from last years garden. I use those chiles as well as ground chile powders from Pendery's.

  73. Leave to seeds from the chiles or remove them?

  74. Lisa Fain

    Donald–I remove the seeds, but if you want it spicier, leave them in.

  75. I cooked it tonight and I ate and was great, however, my wife could not take the heat. Do you have a suggestion for an extra mild version? Maybe take the chipotles and chile de arbol out and perhaps less cayenne? What do you think?

  76. Lisa Fain

    Israel–Yes, take out the cayenne, chipotles and chile de arbol and it will be mild.

  77. gluttonforlife

    Just made this chili for a big outdoor party this weekend and it was a major success. I tripled the recipe and found I didn't need all the chile sauce (nor all the chipotles). Loved the masa thickener, and the beer, coffee and chocolate for rich, murky depth. Thank you!!

  78. Anonymous


    I'd seen a version of this recipe posted and am glad I tracked it back home. I bought your book last week and Mexgrocer'd the chilis today. I see the costena chilis are not in the book (I couldn't find them anyway) and you have the chipotles swimmin' at the adobo's place in the recipe above. I've got 12 gallons worth of the chilis coming my way so there is a lot to experiment with, but can you comment on the differences these changes make?

    Anonymous Brent

  79. Lisa Fain

    Brent–It doesn't make that much difference.

  80. stephanie

    I just wanted to let you know I love your website! I found it as I was looking for a Pea casserole recipe:) I am a Texas girl living in NYC (been her for 7 years). I miss my southern food, and cook at home a ton. Thank you so much for the site. I love that you say chili doesnt have beans, I literally told someone the same thing the other day and they called me a liar! Thanks for the Rotel info I can never find it in NYC. COngrats on the book!

  81. First off, your blog is just beautifully written and photographed. As an aspiring blogger this place is an inspiration!

    I made this for a football tailgate some weeks back and the rich, mole-like base was wonderful on a brisk San Francisco morning.

    Thank you for sharing!

    I hope you don't mind but I mentioned your site on my blog at (don't laugh we are total amateurs)

  82. Anonymous

    Dying to try this but never seen many of these chilis, even in Houston. Are they all available at Fiesta or HEB stores? Any other Houstonians here?

  83. Lisa Fain

    Anon–Fiesta should have most of these, though I hear costeñas (sometimes spelled costeños) are hard to find in Houston. Can use 2 more guajillos instead.

  84. Anonymous

    Lisa – I made your chili today. In addition to the required chiles, I added a few serrano and habanero peppers – 🙂

  85. BabyBits

    My batch came out kind of bitter. What did I do wrong?!! It's ALMOST amazing, but I think I did something wrong 🙁 suggestions?

    Made some beans from another post of yours. Incredible! I'm a fan, thanks for keeping me busy in the rain and snow!

  86. Lisa Fain

    Mary–Sometimes ancho chiles can be bitter. Did you rinse them before making the puree?

  87. BabyBits

    Hmmm, good suggestion for the next round 😉 I bet you have it down to a science. Not so used to all these chilis here in MI (The Dirty Mitten).

  88. UtahFoodie

    To those that have issues with the bitterness, there are a few items in this recipe that could contribute bitter flavor to the finished product. Chile seeds are really bitter on their own, so de-seeding your chiles prior to reconstitution will help a lot. The beer and coffee additions could also contribute to the bitterness.

    My recipe is similiar, but uses a ground chile powder that I grind myself from dried chiles that I've roasted and de-seeded. Tends to eliminate any bitterness issues. I wouldn't use grocery store chili powder for anything though, so use the whole chiles or make your own powder, especially if you make chili frequently.

  89. I haven't tried this – yet! But it seems that my chili recipe, which I thought was unique is Texas style. I do use beans but what surprised me is 3 ingredients. Coffee, beer and chocolate. I have been using these for years as my secret ingredients. I guess the gig is up. There are no new ideas just reincarnations of the old. Thanks for the great sounding recipe and I will be preparing it this weekend with some filet I have sitting aroung. I also have some Trinidad Scorpions and Bhut Jolokias needing a home so it will likely be hot and 7-10 pepper chili. My mouth is already watering.

  90. Thank God, no BEANS! That makes me nuts. Texas chilli aint got no beans, lol. I live in PA and they just dont get it.

  91. More Cowbell

    The first time I made chili I had never even tasted it, but I'd heard good things about it. 😉 I found a recipe and followed it faithfully. Of course, the recipe had beans in it, but I'm a California girl, so what did I know. I pretty much liked the flavor of that chili, and it got rave reviews from my friends. I've been doctoring it up ever since as my tastes changed over the years.

    If anything deserves to be made to the cook's preferences, it's something as complex and personal as chili. If people don't like the ingredients in a recipe or feel something is missing, they can just do it their own way. That's the way we learn to cook, the way we learn what we like.

  92. I don't have Mexican chocolate just bakers. How much should I use and should I add more cinnamon? Thanks! Amazing recipe.

  93. Lisa Fain

    Jeanie–Use 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder instead.

  94. Thanks for the quick response. I added cocoa powder instead. Will find Mexican chocolate next time. I made it and loved it!!! Actually I read Abby's response and made the 1984 champion chili and yours at the same time. 2 totally different dishes, both good, but I LOVED your recipe. I've eaten 2 bowls already. I may mix it up some tonight. Think I may add black beans and maybe some sweet potato chips. Hope that doesn't mess it up. Thanks for sharing!!

  95. Anonymous

    This may be a stupid question, do you leave it covered or uncovered while simmering?

  96. Lisa Fain


  97. franflanro

    Holy Moly… I just finished making this and I am in fear….you r bringing the heat on this one gurrl!!! I cooked the chili in the oven with a lid and parchment paper – 3 hours later the meat was FALLING apart… I am bringing it to work and will let you know…. thanks so much for great recipe!

  98. I suspect people have begun using tomatoes in chili for the same reason people use yellow food coloring in Challah – color.
    My Challah has eggs from my happy yard chickens and my chili has no tomatoes! -or beans

  99. Jim Pell

    So I made this using half chuck half leftover hickory smoked brisket point. It turned out very deep, and delicious tasting. Didn't win the chili cook off at work, but most people from Michigan don't know quite what this kind of chili is all about.

  100. Anonymous

    It's late September in Wisconsin and there's a chill in the air. Perfect weather for Chili. I wanted to try something different and found your recipe for Seven Chile Chili and was up for the challenge. I was able to find all of the ingredients except the Mexican hot cocoa. The recipe was extremely easy to follow and the results were incredible!
    Warning: This chili is not for the faint of heart. My lips are still tingling. It's a good thing I had a cold Shiner Bock to quell the heat. 😉
    I will definately make this again, and again, and again…

  101. Jennifer

    Lisa, I know I'm late to this game here, but how many does the above (amazeballs) recipe serve, approximately?

    (another Homesick Texan, now living in VA)

  102. Lisa Fain

    Jennifer–It serves about 6-8.

  103. Anonymous

    Are we supposed to be using dried or fresh peppers? I went to the store today and could not find any of these peppers fresh and hardly any dried. Tons of jalapenos, serrano, poblanos and anaheims but none of the others. I didn't know if those would work so I'm stuck with chipotles in adobo sauce and regular old chili powder. Sad considering I live in Houston and couldn't find these peppers.

    So how much chili powder would you recommend?

  104. Lisa Fain

    Those are dried chiles and I'm surprised you couldn't find them in Houston! I've seen them at Central Market, HEB, Fiesta and Whole Foods. if you're going to substitute with chili powder, I'd start with 2 tablespoons and add more to taste.

  105. I made this tonight and it was amazing! Love the mole flavor! Instead of the chocolate tablet (I know what you are talking about but couldn't get it in the store here in Portland) I used Equal Exchange Spicy Hot Cocoa, a little less than 1/4 cup. I am wondering about your instructions for meat that is cubed 1/4 inch. Can you buy it like that in the store, or ask for it to be cut that way? I got "stew meat" (the guy at the meat counter said it was chuck roast and since it was already cut up some, I thought it would be easier). My hubs tried to cut it into smaller cubes and it was taking forever so we just cooked the large stew meat chunks and at the end of 5 hours it was falling apart tender so it turned out fine, but I am just curious how you accomplish that!

  106. mstinawu

    I love this recipe! Thank god I live in Los Angeles and am able to find all those chili's. I've made this recipe several times and it's simply the best chili recipe out there! Thank you for sharing!

  107. Best chile chili ever. I'm also in So Cal but am a Texas chili aficionado. Already had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Thanks so much.

  108. We are having one of those rare cold snaps here in Austin. So I'm going to be trying this recipe. I don't drink coffee (I don't like the taste of it. )and am wondering what sort of flavoring does it add to it and could i just throw an extra beer in it instead. The chocolate too. I have never heard of putting chocolate in chili.
    Heb doesn't have a good selection of dried chiles but I did find all of them at my neighborhood Mexican market.

  109. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is one of single most amazing recipes I've ever used. The depth of flavor just deepens with every bite. I also believe the addition of the chocolate is a perfect accompaniment to the flavors within. I'm am not from Texas but sure as hell wish I grew up with this kind of chili.

  110. Anonymous

    Used your recipe, with a few tweaks of my own, today. Won our BBQ teams annual Super Bowl Chili cook off! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  111. Hi, my name is Jessica and I first found your site while looking for a chocolate pie recipe and am now completely obsessed with your recipes! My boyfriend and I live in Brooklyn but he grew up in Texas and Louisiana and is also very impressed by your recipes. We're wondering where in NYC you buy all the different chiles in this recipe? I know there are Mexican groceries everywhere but wanted to know if you had a favorite….Thanks!


    p.s. Chocolate pie was amazing, and we'll be tasting the lemon/lime icebox pie after dinner tonight 🙂

  112. Lisa Fain

    Jessica–I'm glad y'all enjoyed the chocolate pie! As for dried chiles, I don't have a particular favorite place to get them, I just look out for the freshest ones. Most Mexican markets will have fresh chiles and Whole Foods and Manhattan Fruit exchange also have fresh chiles, too. In Brooklyn, the markets in Sunset Park should have a good selection.

  113. This is amazing! Everyone loved it and asked for seconds. Thank you from Sweden

  114. anubis75

    I agree, yours is definitely a true Texas chili! I happen to subscribe to the idea that true Texas chil just means no beans and no tomatoes. When it comes to meat, spices and chile powders used it's dealer's choice.

  115. Jayson McCormick

    Giving this one a go mate. I read at least 30 different chili recipes and yours appealed to me the most. It has just started it's 5 hr gestation period in the pot. Didn't have any filtered coffee so I went to the local cafe and got a long black to use instead! Thanks, will be trying some of your other recipes. Cheers, Jay (Australia)

  116. Gary Bowline

    Homesick Texan I cooked up your recipe. I found it a little more "sweet" than I'm used to but very good! The chile puree was incredible! I got all of the chilis except for the costenas. I'd been using commercially available "chili powder"s and the puree was much better. One question. Which of the peppers would give the chili more heat? Thanks and glad I found your blog.

  117. Lisa Fain

    Gary–Chipotle chiles have the most heat.

  118. Hey Lisa, I am from South Texas (transplanted to NYC, happily) and we definitely ate chili but never a very particular kind. I will say I need beans in mine and masa was never found in any I have eaten. After making your delicious chili I can see how the masa would provide a broader canvas for the chili flavors to shine. Otherwise, just wanted to thank you for the recipe and the blog.

  119. Hi Lisa! I am going to make this chili to serve during tomorrow's 2014 World Cup soccer match, USA v Portugal, and I have a few questions. I bought my ingredients according to your Homesick Texan Cookbook and I notice that this online recipe is a bit different (OL = online, CB = cookbook):

    CB – 2 dried chipolte chilis
    OL – 2 costeñas chilis

    CB – 3 cups water + 1 cup for chili puree
    OL – 2 Cups water + 1 cup for chili puree
    (this difference is the most confusing to me)

    CB – has 1 teaspoon oregano

    OL – has 2 chipoltes in adobo (no adobo in CB)

    CB – 2 T masa harina
    OL – 1/4 cup masa harina
    (so twice the amount from one to the other)

    You wrote that you don't usually measure the ingredients, but some of these measurements (water, masa) seem like they would make a difference. Your thoughts?

    I am going to make the chili puree tonight and put it in 'fridge until early tomorrow morning.

    One more note, I am a native Houstonian. I found all of the chilis at Fiesta, but no masa harina (which I found odd). However, I did find it at Whole Foods made by Bob's Red Mill). For the meat, I called ahead to the B & W Meat Co. on N. Shepherd and asked them to cut the chuck into 1/4" pieces for me. Bingo!!!!

    All the best – Sarah

  120. Lisa Fain

    Sarah–Well, there are indeed differences between the cookbook and the blog recipes, but chili is very forgiving so it should be fine either way.

  121. Hi,

    Great recipe? How does it hold up when frozen for a week or so?


  122. Lisa Fain

    Bill–The chili holds up very well when frozen.

  123. Two questions: Seed the chilies first? Include 4 pequin chiles?

    I ask, because I have found a couple of otherwise identical recipes on the web that were based on your book and they both tell me to seed the chiles first and the both include the pequin chiles.

    I am planning on making this in four days and I want to do it right! And yes, your book is on my wish list! 🙂

  124. Lisa Fain

    Hi Doug, You can seed the chiles if you want less heat. And if you have the pequin chiles, include them but if not I wouldn't worry about it too much. The beautiful thing about chili is that there is much room for improvisation! Enjoy!

  125. Maurice

    I knew I shoulda got here sooner…but just in case you're back sooner: dried chili prep: toast, soak, dump the water, stems and (if desired) seeds. Or lop the stems and dump the seeds pre-toast? Seems easier to do post-soak, but I worry about bitterness.

  126. Lisa Fain

    Maurice–I seed and stem before I soak but if your chiles aren't very malleable, you can do it post soak instead.

  127. Anonymous

    We just had this chili. It was incredible. Coming from Germany, what we usually get as "chili con carne" is a tomato based sauce with ground meat and some Tabasco. Kudos to you for sharing this recipe. It took a while to get all the ingredients, but it was definitely worth it.

  128. Claudia Weller

    Oh, I love chili, must try this, problem only to get those different kinds of ingredients. But as anonymous above said, they got them too, in Germany, so it will just take some time to get started, looking forward to this

  129. David Hurley

    Today is my second time making this wonderful recipe. Everyone who tried it loved it. Several people commented about the subtle yet complex flavors. Absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for posting it.

  130. Anonymous

    Lisa, I have made your chilli recipe a few times here in the uk. It's the very best chilli I've ever tasted. Thanks for introducing me to genuine Texan grub. XX Roger

  131. How about using ground beef??

  132. Lisa Fain

    Kristil–You can do that, but this recipe is geared to a slowly cooked stew that is better with cubed chuck.

  133. Hi Lisa, I've been looking for an authentic recipe for chili for awhile now. I think this is the best recipe I've found, hands down. Thanks

  134. David Hurley

    This is my fourth time making your recipe and I never thanked you for providing it. The first time I made it my Sister In Law said it was the best chili she had ever eaten. Everytime I make it it gets rave reviews. My neighbors son tried it last time and said it was too hot but he ate the whole bowl. Then he came back for seconds, then thirds, and then a fourth helping. He then came over the next day and asked if we had any left. That is how good it is. The complex flavor leaves people asking a lot of questions about the subtleties that they can't quite pin down. Thank you for the recipe. I am going to order your cookbook. Take care from New Orleans!

  135. Anonymous

    This recipe turned out great. I didn't put in the chocolate–just a preference. Had all chiles except costenos, so substituted New Mexico red. Day 2, made chili dogs with grilled brats over toasted sourdough, with the chile and grated cheddar on top.

  136. Shane Orr

    Lisa, I’ve been making this chili for years. I really dig your approach, and it was exactly what I was looking for when I found you. I guess the aromatics and chocolate make it a little mole-like. Ok by me! I’ve made it with a mix of venison, bison, and ground chuck over the years. Making a batch now. Thanks so much for sharing and keeping this recipe up. Cheers.

    • Lisa Fain

      Shane–Thank you for the kind words! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the chili all these years. I’ve never tried it with a venison, bison, and ground chuck combination, but I’ll have to do that.

  137. I have enjoyed this recipe for many years and I just thought I’d say thanks! My friends in New England still won’t get on board with the “no beans or tomatoes” thing but I don’t care, more for me!

    • Lisa Fain

      Dave–You’re welcome! I’m delighted it’s brought you joy over the years.

  138. Lisa, this is now the favorite of my family! I’ve used both the chopped chuck roast and the chili size ground beef, and prefer the chuck roast chopped, although it added a great deal of prep time. As you recommended, I used 8 Ancho peppers instead of the variety in your recipe and the “heat” was perfect! We lived in Texas for seven years and I’ve since used various recipes but this is by far the most amazing Chili we’ve ever had. Thank you!

    • Lisa Fain

      JoJo–Thank you so much for the praise! I’m delighted this chili has become a family favorite!

  139. Ten years since the original recipe was posted and I’m just finding it? This looks amazing. My son and I are entering a chili cook-off where he works. This will be my base recipe.

    • Lisa Fain

      Steve–This recipe has been a starting point for several with their chili cook-off recipes, so I’m wishing you and your son all the best!

  140. I’ve made this a couple of times before and it is wonderful! I’m hoping to make it on a girls’ weekend and even though we have an Airbnb I don’t know what the equipment will be like. I’m hoping to avoid bringing a blender – do you think I could soak and blend the chiles at home and that they’d keep for a couple of days in a tupperware before dumping into the pot?

    • Lisa Fain

      Shelby–Yes, you could soak and blend the chiles ahead of time. It would keep in the fridge for a week and you could also freeze the puree, too. Have fun on your girls’ weekend!

  141. Is there any acceptable substituted for the beer? I can’t cook with alcohol. Thank you!

    • Lisa Fain

      It’s fine if you don’t want to use beer. Any liquid such as broth or water will suffice.

  142. Sean H.

    Killer – I just made it to use up my leftover turkey – cheated and used black beans as well… Still amazing. I’ve made the pure version as well and it’s always a crowd pleaser. Kudos to the chef.

    • Lisa Fain

      Sean–So glad you enjoyed it and that it works well with leftover turkey. And I won’t say anything about the beans, ha!

  143. Hi Lisa;
    Quick question about using the dry chili’s; do you take the seeds out after you dry roast? Last time I used dry chili’s , I missed something somewhere because my chili was bitter as all get out. I did soak and stew them with all the other fixings.

    • Lisa Fain

      Glenn–I remove the seeds and stems before roasting and soaking. I also rinse the chiles after soaking, which also helps get rid of any bitterness if present. And I never use the soaking water!

  144. Trying times call for comfort food – and this looks like it would fit the bill! Have you (or your readers) ever made it in a slow cooker?

    Wishing everyone good health & good food.

    • Lisa Fain

      Donna–After making the chile puree and browning the meat and aromatics, I then throw everything in the slow cooker and cook it on low for 6 hours, though you can go up to 8, as there’s lots of leeway with this recipe.

  145. Just had another delicious meal of this. For anyone else with an Instant Pot or pressure cooker; you can speed up the 5 hour simmer by cooking it on high pressure for 20-30 minutes (ie: ~90 minutes total time, including heat up and cool down). It seems to come together well that way but the downside is you can’t taste it as you go. Also since there’s no evaporation consider adding less water up front.

    I’ve tried cutting corners a few times making this dish with just one kind of chile pepper, or a powder, or whatever. The chile variety is really important. I found a great mail order shop (Spices Inc) that has all these kinds of chiles and more and it’s been fun experimenting.

    • Lisa Fain

      Nelson–Thank you for the Instant Pot tips! And yes, the blend of chiles is what makes this dish stand out for me, too.

  146. N.C. Donna

    Lisa, I’m so glad you’re still following this!

    Can you please confirm: the chocolate is 1/3 of a disc (“tablet”), not 1/3 of a wedge, correct? I’ve used chocolate in chili before (love it), but that seems like a lot.

    Abuelita hot chocolate disks are scored into eights, so I guess 2 wedges plus enough of the third to give me a bit to hang onto while rasping down the chocolate? Thanks!

    • Lisa Fain

      N.C. Donna–I had found that grating 1/3 of a disk (not using the pre-scored wedges) yielded about 1 1/2 tablespoons. Though if you’re concerned, I’d simply start with a lesser amount and add more if you like. It’s much easier to add than subtract an ingredient from a recipe!

  147. Iheartcumbia

    I’ve made this several times with very few alterations (I always add a little Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoon of Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce). I play around with the chiles depending on what I have around but always use at least 4 varieties Sometimes I add beans sometimes not. Everyone loves it but my favorite review was a man from Puebla Mexico. He said “your mole is muy Rico!!!”

    • Lisa Fain

      Iheartcumbia–I love it! And I’ve never added fish sauce to my chili, but I can imagine it makes it extremely savory!

  148. 5 stars
    My favorite chili recipe. The key is good chuck cut in small chunks. I had to order Costeno peppers from Spices Inc but got all the rest of the peppers from the local Mercado. I messed up and didn’t get chiles de arbol so added a couple extra costenos and anchos. I added a little extra coriander and cumin after about 2 hrs. I simmered slowly for 10 hrs until the beef was fall apart tender. Amazing!

    • Lisa Fain

      Gary–So glad you love this recipe! I can only imagine how tender and delicious it would be after 10 hours!

  149. Greg Hughes

    5 stars
    All of these ingredients, if not in your local mega grocery, will be in a local Mexican market, or online from many purveyors.

  150. I have your book, Homesick Texan, and the recipe in the book calls for dried oregano. Is there a reason you obmitted this from the current recipe ? I’m making it today and using the oregano cause that’s what I have always done. I also just coarse grind my own meat. This time it was a whole very lean beef loin that was gifted to me.

    • Lisa Fain

      Jana–This version predates the book, and as I retested every recipe for the book, I made changes. Enjoy the chili!

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