Best D@mn Chili Recipe

The Best D@mn Chili Recipe Ever

The BEST D@mn Chili Recipe Ever!

It’s #Snowmageddon! Many in the USA woke up to cold weather and a snowy Saturday.

What a change! Just 13 days ago it was Christmas Eve 2016 and we were in shorts with 70 degree weather.

How is the weather where you live? What do you do to prepare for snowy winter weather?

I make sure we have flashlights, candles, wood for our fire, clean clothes, everything is charged and we have food.

But I want comfort food like chili or soup, hot cocoa and made from scratch cinnamon rolls.

I picked up some milk & bread!

There is always this mad dash for milk and bread in South Carolina when there is any threat of inclement weather.

And this really pokes fun at those I’ve seen push you out of their way at the grocery store just to stock up on milk & bread when this threat is announced.

In all fairness to those that have this knee jerk reaction, we have had some bad storms that have left us without power for days in the past.

So YES, I did pick up milk and bread. But really because we were out after 2 weeks off from the Christmas holiday.

As we left a grocery store, we noticed an elderly lady who looked like she needed help with her groceries. 

Her walker was hanging off the cart and she was struggling to get across the parking lot. So I brought that to my daughter’s attention and asked what she thought about offering to help this lady.

She loved the idea!

So we asked this lady and she agreed to our help.

My child was SO happy to jump right in and help. I made small talk with our new friend as I set her walker up but I didn’t get her name.

I asked her if she was preparing for the snow & ice.

And she exclaimed with a “Yep! That’s why I bought all this junk.” When I scanned over her stuff I saw there were 2 tubs of ice cream, 2 large canisters of coffee, 3 boxes of cereal, a tray of iced cinnamon rolls, cans of fruit, soda, milk and a few other things.

She wasn’t kidding! We giggled with our new friend about this.

As we walked away, my daughter claimed her as her ‘new gandma.’

A Pantry Challenge

Prepping for this potential snow, I took a good look in my cupboards. They are not bare because of all of the grocery shopping I did over the holidays.

Some women have this thing for clothes, or shoes, or handbags or even makeup. I like those things too, but I have this thing for food.

Because of this food crush, I need to shop on a budget.

I recently connected with a blogger for her Pantry Challenge January 2017. Her challenge is this: cook what’s in your cupboards. Only grocery shop for things you are completely out of and nothing else.

One thing I haven’t shared here yet is the deer and fish that have recently filled my freezers. So I am totally inspired by this Pantry Challenge 2017!

Would you be interested in joining me? Let me know!

With the threat of #Snowmageddon, I started cooking a couple of days ago and cooked dried beans. 

And I made the Best D@mn Chili yesterday because I think chili is always better the next day.

This IS The Best Chili- EVER!

This recipe is like no other chili I’ve eaten. The original recipe is not mine but I have changed it for this Little Kitchen Big Eats version which I am sharing.

To me this is the quintessential of cooking. I think you should cook for how you like to eat. Appeal to your taste buds. Especially if you understand how to pair flavors together.

If you don’t like a certain spice or herb then leave it out, or switch it up.

However, I DO believe there are some recipes that don’t need to be changed, altered or messed with.

And baking, well that’s a different story. You should always follow the method or recipe-always!

If you need a recipe to help you cook something new (especially if it’s from a different culture) by all means, follow it.

Beef, Pork and Venison

I use venison for my Best D@mn Chili along with ground beef and ground pork. 

You can use whatever combo of ground meat you prefer or have on hand.

And the addition of my sofrito enhances the flavors. Don’t have sofrito on hand? Leave it out. But trust me, if you have sofrito, USE it.

This recipe calls for several ingredients that work beautifully. But if you don’t have the exact, use what you’ve got.

I like smoked paprika along with some regular paprika.

Don’t have smoked paprika? No worries-just use regular paprika or spicy paprika.

This IS a ‘Chop and Drop in a pot’ kind of meal (mostly!)

Another layer of flavor here is by allowing your ground meat to brown. This is a step most people don’t do-they let it get grayish but not BROWN.

If you brown your meat after it’s had a chance to sit out for about 15 minutes it helps. Don’t crowd your pan when browning the meat-cook the meat in batches if you need to! 

I take my meat out first and gather all the ingredients so it has time to come to room temp. Then get your large heavy duty pot out or dutch oven hot.

While your meat sears, you can chop your ingredients, open any cans of tomatoes, stock in a box, bottle of beer & wine, jars, etc.

Just allow your meat time to brown-don’t disturb it while it browns. Don’t even try to break it up. Let it get brown then break it up.

You get what I’m trying to say, right?

Oh and season as you go. After your meat is browned, place in a large bowl and use the same pot for your veggies. 

Just before you add the garlic, cook your tomato paste & add sofrito with your veggies.

And deglaze your pot with some dry white wine. Then some stock or water-whichever you have on hand or want to use.

I also add a can of V-8 juice here. And I leave out all spicy heat so my kids can enjoy this. BUT…

I will offer fresh or pickled pepper on the side.

I love beans-I am a bean eater.

But if you don’t like beans leave them out-add them if you do!

I don’t use can or jarred beans. But if you do, just rinse that brine off of them.

Add the rest of your ingredients: the spices and herbs and stir well. Then add back the browned meat, tomatoes, green chilies and the beer-oh the beer shines in this dish! It sings!!

Season as you go with salt & pepper but modestly because as the liquids reduce it will taste very salty later if you are heavy handed.

You can add salt again just before you serve this.

Let your chili come to a boil and stir so nothing is scorched on the bottom. Reduce to a simmer on low for an hour-stir it occasionally.

If you are serving your chili the next day (which I like to make a day ahead), allow to completely cool.

Get it out of the pot and in a casserole 9 x 13 dish (or two) to cool faster.

Then refrigerate…and the next day, this is incredible!!!

The flavors have had a chance to marry

This IS good the same day, but something about this chili served the next day is spectacular!

Don’t believe me? Give it a try-you’ll see.

I know, it’s hard to wait that long.

I like to offer rice, or crusty bread, or corn bread or corn chips with this.

How do you like to eat your chili? 

I lay out a little bar of sour cream, shredded cheeses, some fresh or pickled hot peppers, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, cilantro, limes and green onions.

This recipe is a winning recipe for me and one that is requested. I had several weekends of catering this past fall.

And my chili was requested-I needed to feed 150 people and there was nothing left.

I hope you give this Best D@mn Chili Recipe (Ever) a try!

If you do, snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram or Twitter #novaLKBE or #LKBE

And pin away – share this on Pinterest!

Stay warm & have fun!


One cold morning after a run, I was with my running buddy and I noticed there was a can of Coors Lite unopened in my shrubs by the road. And I picked it up and looked at her and said, “I know what I’m going to do with this! I’m making the Best D@mn Chili Ever!!!”

And I did!

Serves An Army or more like 8-10 servings

The Best D@mn Chili Ever

This recipe is inspired by the original Best Damn Chili recipe with a LKBE spin

30 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 30 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2-3 pounds of ground meat combo of your choice-I use venison, beef & pork at room temperature
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper (or light color pepper)
  • 1 Serrano pepper (or jalapeno pepper-or leave out if you like)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cubes (or tsp) beef bouillon
  • 1 can of beer (use light, lager, or whatever beer you like)
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes (or regular if you can't find it)
  • 1 8 ounce can of V-8 juice
  • 1 4 ounce can of green chiles (mild or hot-you pick)
  • 1/4 cup Puerto Rican Sofrito (leave it out if you don't have it)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 packets of Goya Sazon
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper (omit the heat if you'd like)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of stock or water
  • 3 cups of red beans (or about 2 15 ounce cans)
  • 1 tsp bacon fat
  • 2-4 tsp of oil of choice to cook with


  1. Allow your meat to come to room temperature so you can get it brown (and not grey) and gather your ingredients. In a large heavy duty stock pot or dutch oven that is hot, add bacon fat and 1 tbsp of oil to brown meat. Do not break up meat so it can truly get a brown almost crust to the meat. Break apart after it's cooked with a whisk. Brown meat in batches if needed. Set cooked meat aside in a large bowl and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. In the same pot add extra oil if needed and cook onion and peppers 3-5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper. Add tomato paste cook for another minute. Add garlic, stir and do not let brown. Add sofrito.
  3. Add wine to the pot and with a wooden spoon help all the goodness stuck to the pot come off. Add bouillon cubes, stock, tomatoes, V-8 juice and can or bottle of beer. Stir well.
  4. Add all the seasonings & herbs, add meat & beans into the pot. Season with some salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for an hour & stir often. Taste for salt & pepper towards the end of the cook time. Add more salt if you think it's needed.
  5. Enjoy with fresh peppers, cheese, sour cream, cilantro and fresh squeeze of lime.
  6. If serving the next day, allow to cool by pulling out of the pot and to cool in 9 x 13 dish. Reheat over the stove in heavy duty pot on low. It's better the next day!
Cuisine: Americana | Recipe Type: EASY

8 thoughts on “The Best D@mn Chili Recipe Ever”

  1. Does this chili have some heat? If so, what spices would you back off on to make it just mild to medium with great flavor? Thanks so much!
    1. Thanks for asking this question. This chili recipe is packed with lots of flavor, spices and some heat. But the ability to judge something and say it is hot is relative to the individual as well as the pepper (fresh, dried, or pickled). So it’s really hard to answer you and I know that doesn’t help. But if I’m making this recipe and wanted to make it mild, I would start by eliminate any and all fresh peppers that are cooked in this recipe. If I wanted to make it medium I would add the fresh peppers as the recipe states with no seeds or ribs of the pepper. And if I’m serving this to a crowd I always make this mild but I offer a variety of peppers on the side so the individual can top off their own bowl how they like it. I offer a spread of fresh, dried red pepper flakes, pickled jalapeños and a bottle of hot sauce along with cheese and sour cream. And then everyone can control their own heat. Some powdered peppers such as a chili powder, and dried or smoked paprika have some level of mild heat. But I would not omit the chili powder because that is what makes this recipe ‘chili.’ I hope that helps answer your question. And I hope you enjoy the chili. Let me know how,it goes.
    1. Thanks for asking! For this recipe I have used any standard American beer (Coors or Bud would do well). I would stay away from any flavored beer (like an apple cider brew for example), any low in carb beer, any microbrew. I hope this helps you decide. And I hope your chili comes out delicious!
  2. Thanks for all your help and the thoughtful responses. Just asking one more the recipe correct as stated with 2 tablespoons of coriander and 2 tablespoons of cumin? Just wanted to make sure it wasn't teaspoons instead:-).
    1. It IS correct, I did indeed mean 2 tablespoons of each. This is based according to the amount of meat I’ve used and the amount of chili this recipe renders. But it is also my preference-I like bold flavors and spices. So with that in mind, don’t be afraid to take a recipe and decrease (or increase!) a spice or flavor based on your own personal tastebuds. Especially if you feel comfortable doing so.
    1. Hi Sheeva I am sure that it would be okay to use your crockpot. I would highly recommend browning the meat first because that is an added depth of flavor. Fortunately crocks nowadays have that feature. But I have two retro crocks that don’t have this, so I would just brown my meat (in a pan on the stove) and transfer to the crock and add the rest of the ingredients like the recipe suggests. (I know this is an added step but what I used to do for any meat because browning your meat means a better end result.) I wish I could offer some solid cooking times for you but I cannot since I haven’t tested it in a low & slow crockpot method. But a generic rule for slow cooking in a crockpot is typically: 4 hours on high, or 8 hours (or so) on low. You will need to judge this. If you try this in a crockpot would you let me know how it turns out? I’d like to know. Good luck!

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