Crazy Ed’s Holiday Chili

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Crazy Ed’s Holiday Chili

This recipe has won its share of awards. However, my greatest pleasure comes in sharing a great meal with friends and family. It may seem a bit unusual but it is unusually good.

Yield: 10.5 quarts (leftovers freeze well)


  • 4 large white onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 1/2 pounds ground round or ground venison
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces Italian-style tomato paste
  • 3 large chipotle peppers
  • 2 ounces ancho (dried) peppers
  • habanero peppers to taste (optional)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 10 3/4 ounces tomato soup
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 24 ounces dark beer (suggest Bully! Porter)
  • 10 3/4 ounces beef consomme
  • 2 16-ounce cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 2 16-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 12 ounces sliced fresh baby portabella mushrooms
  • 4 16-ounce cans kidney beans
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped medium (including heads)
  • 2 large green peppers, chopped medium
  • 4 1/2 ounces black olives, chopped medium
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons corn flour (masa, or fine cornmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dry cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard


Using a large skillet over medium heat, cook onions in half of the olive oil until nearly translucent. Add garlic to the skillet and cook one more minute. Place onion mixture in a large stock pot (12-quart). Add meat and remaining oil to skillet and brown meat. Add tomato paste to the meat during the last few minutes of browning, without draining stock pot.

Remove seeds, veins, and stems from the chipoltes, anchos and habaneros. Tear chilies into small pieces and soak in boiling water for 30 minutes. Puree chilies and water in blender until paste forms. Add paste to stock pot; mix well.

Add next 11 ingredients to the stock pot and bring to a simmer. Do not drain any canned items.

In a small bowl, mix Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, honey, and liquid smoke until the honey is dissolved. Add this mixture to the stock pot and stir well.

In a small bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients together; mix well. Add to the stock pot gradually, mixing well. Return chili to a simmer for 2 to 3 hours uncovered. Stir occasionally and add water or beer if necessary.

Age chili 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator before serving.

Additional Notes:

Serve over rice or pasta Midwest-style and add your favorite condiments. Serve the chili with a salad and your favorite beer and you will have a feast. Cheese biscuits and cornbread are also wonderful with this recipe.

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