Pedro’s Mongrel Chili

From Peter Ensenberger

"I’ve experimented with various chili recipes for years, trying different combinations of ingredients and building on other chili recipes that I’d come across. My trial-and-error method evolved into this tasty dish – spicy with just a hint of sweetness. As with most chili recipes, mine relies on the complexity and layering of selected flavors. I think this has just the right ingredients. It’s a mongrel mix, but there’s no dog in it!" - Peter Ensenberger.


4 strips of bacon, fried crisp, crumbled (reserve bacon drippings)

2 lbs. beef sirloin, trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice

1 can (8 oz.) tomato paste

2 cans (10.5 oz.) beef consommé

2 bottles (12 oz.) of your favorite beer (one for the chili, and the other for the cook to drink while

   making the chili)

1 fresh green chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced (If fresh chiles are not available, substitute 1

   small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced. Canned diced green chiles or dried chile powder can

   also be substituted)

2 tsp. ground cumin (Hint: For best cumin flavor, lightly toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over

   medium heat, then finely grind seeds in a spice or coffee grinder.)

1 tsp. dried sweet basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate squares

2 cans (16 oz.) your favorite chili beans, drained and rinsed


shredded sharp cheddar cheese

scallions, thinly sliced

fresh cilantro, rough chopped


In Dutch oven or large, heavy soup pot, brown sirloin in reserved bacon drippings over medium heat. When cubes are browned on all sides, remove to warmed platter. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is just wilted. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, consommé, beer, green chile, cumin, basil and oregano. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. When wet ingredients are well blended, add chocolate squares and stir until melted. Return beef cubes to pot along with any beef juices that have accumulated on platter. Add crumbled bacon and beans, and bring back a simmer, stirring gently until heated through.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese, scallions and cilantro. Serve with hot cornbread or tortillas and ice-cold beer.

Serves 6