What do you get when you combine?

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Habanero pepper, diced
  • 2  14-oz cans hot chili beans
  • 1 large jar of salsa
  • 1/2 – 1 bottle of beer
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 small jar of green chilies, diced
  • 10 – 12 Stump’s Hot Olives, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste

You get Stump’s Hot Hot Chili!!!!!- The BEST CHILI I’VE EVER MADE!

For 30 years, I liked the chili I made. It’s a basic chop and dump chili, – I chop some things and dump in cans of other things. And Stump’s Hot Hot Chili is in this same category, which makes it super easy to fix. But it tastes so much better! In fact, it’s better than the chili my gourmet husband once devoted an entire afternoon to preparing. He fire-roasted chilies and garlic; he peeled tomatoes; he pressed vegetables and simmered the sauce. Yes, his was exceptionally tasty. But STUMPS’ HOT HOT CHILI IS BETTER!

For this chili recipe, just brown the hamburger in 1/4 cup of the hot olive juice, drain excess grease, add the remaining ingredients and then simmer the chili for 2 hours. Super Easy!

The flavor packed into one mouthful emerges in multiple stages. At first you taste a richly complex mix of flavors, – saucy meat, fresh chilies and onion, seasoned chili beans. The texture is thick and saucy, not watery! It feels luxurious on the tongue, – a bit like creamy ice cream. Then the chili heat lights up the tongue. It fills the mouth and opens the senses. You smile, lay down your spoon, and sip some beer. Aah! – the flavor!

The heat was just right on the capsicum scale for me. I served the chili to my good friends who share my love of spicy food. They too raved about the chili! Only Eric, – “man with Teflon mouth”, thought that a second habanero pepper could be added. But Eric suggested that the secret ingredient to the chili’s popularity was the addition of Stump’s hot olives. I’d put out a dish of these spicy hot olives as an appetizer. They were new to Eric, and he became an instant fan. He’d pop the spicy hot olives into his mouth and not even sip his beer afterward. This man has a high capsicum tolerance. So when Eric tasted the chili which contains 12 of these olives, he identified their flavor and approved, -(high kudos because Eric himself is a superb cook!)

We all agreed that the chili’s wonderful flavor resulted from the complexity inherent within each of its ingredients. As well as the Stump”s hot olives, the recipe calls for cans of chili beans preserved in their own spicy sauce. Several companies offer spicy chili beans. The brand you select likely impacts the chili’s final flavor. Never having bought beans pre-spiced, I rather randomly chose Bush’s spicy chili beans and Joan of Arc’s. The sauce of each brand differed, but the combination worked. I also had never tried Mrs. Renfro’s salsas. (Eric had and definitely likes them!) Her smokey roasted salsa sounded tasty so I bought it, and lucked out again. Her salsa fit right in with the spicy bean flavors.

Next was picking the beer. Julia Child says, “Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink”. But the corollary of this is “Never cook with a beer you want to drink.” So I didn’t use my new favorite beer, Hopalicious from Madison, WI’s Ale Asylum Brewery. Instead I used Sam Adams Octoberfest. I like the Sam Adams beers a lot, so I did abide by Julia’s rule. I also like Pinot Noir wine and used it in the chili. Regarding the proportions, I mis-read the recipe and added a full bottle of beer instead of a half. Whether the error improved or compromised the chili, I have no clue, which means that this recipe is definitely forgiving. And I’m sure that Joanie Steckart who wrote the cookbook “Drink Your Beer and Eat It Too!” would assure me that adding a full bottle of beer was “just fine”.   

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