8 Alarm Chili Recipe

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This is one hot chili, you can cut down the alarms by removing you’re choice of ingredients.  But I dare you to try it like it’s shown here at least once.



4 large Dried Ancho Chiles, stemmed and seeded

6 large Garlic Cloves, (3 finely chopped)

1 Tbsp. Salt, or to taste

1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. Ground Cumin

4 lbs. well-marbled Beef Brisket or Boneless Chuck, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces

3 to 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 (32 oz.) can Whole Tomatoes in juice

1/4 cup canned Chipotle Chiles in Adobo

1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped

4 Cups White Onions, chopped

1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano, crumbled

1 to 4 Fresh Serrano Chiles, finely chopped, including seeds

1 (12 oz.) bottle Beer (not dark)

2 Cups Water

2 1/2 Cups cooked Pinto Beans, rinsed if canned



Avocado, cubed

White Onion, chopped

Cheddar, shredded

Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Sour Cream



In hot water, soak the ancho chiles for 30 minutes, then drain well.


While the chiles are soaking, mince one of the garlic cloves, and mash into a paste with 1/2 Tbsp. of salt, 1/2 Tbsp. of chili powder, and 1/2 Tbsp. of cumin.  In a large bowl, coat the beef cubes.


In a 6 to 7 qt. heavy pot, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil on high heat and brown the beef in 3 to 4 batches for 5 minutes each.  Transferred the browned beef to another bowl as it’s cooked.

Purée the tomatoes (including the juice) in a blender with the anchos, cilantro, chipotles in adobo, 2 whole garlic cloves, and 1/2 Tbsp. of salt until the mixture is smooth.


Add 3 Tbsp. of oil to the fat in the pot, and cook the chopped garlic and onions over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the remaining Tbsp. of chili powder, cumin, oregano and cook for another 2 minutes, making sure to stir.  Add one chopped Serrano and the chili purée, and let simmer for 5 minutes.


Stir in the water, beef, and beef with any additional juice from the bowl, and let simmer, partially covered for 2 hours.  Stirring occasionally.


You can add more Serrano for more alarms if desired, and continue to let simmer until the beef to tender and the sauce is starting to thicken, around 1 to 2 more hours.


Shred the meat, coarsely, in the pot with 2 forks, and let the chili cool completely, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before serving.


To serve, reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, add the beans, and let simmer for 5 minutes.


And Enjoy!