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Uncle Bill's Head Sweatin' Chili

Uncle Bill's Head Sweatin' Chili

This recipe comes from years of experimenting—it's a smokey, spicy chili that makes your head sweat and lips burn. The Spice House's chiles and aromatic dried herbs have made a big difference in my recipe.

Submitted by: Bill from Long Branch, NJ
Yield: Approximately 3-4 quarts


Preparation Instructions:

Set aside half of the onion, peppers, and garlic.

In a large pot brown the ground meat with the remaining onion, garlic, and peppers.

Drain the fat. Add the tomatoes, fill the empty 28 oz tomato can with water and add it. Add the tomato paste, the various spices and herbs, and remaining onion, garlic, and peppers.

Cover and simmer for one hour. Then uncover and simmer until thick, usually three or four hours.

More About This Recipe

1) The individual ground chili peppers add a dimension you can't get from supermarket chili powder. 2) The chipoltes and pasilla de oxaca peppers that I use come dried and must be reconstituted before using. I use the left over water in the initial stage, adding enough from the tap to fill the can. Pasilla de Oaxaca can be difficult to source, they are a hot and smokey chile—chipotle can be used instead. 3) It's best if your chili is very watery to begin with because the longer it simmers the better the flavors blend. 4) I buy all of my spices and dried herbs from a place in Chicago called The Spice House. This recipe comes from literally years of experimenting. The final product is a very smokey, spicy chili that should make your head sweat and you lips burn. If it's too hot, cut out the pasilla de oxaca (6-8 on a heat scale of 10) and/or the ground chipolte pepper. If it isn't hot enough add some ground habanero chili powder. Also, the measurement for the herbs, salt, and black pepper are approximate as I cook by the smell and taste method, i.e. it's spiced right when it smells good. I don't add salt til it's almost done if I add it at all.


Based on 5 reviews

Customer Reviews

Jeffrey M

This is a realy great chili recipe! I made it in my 5 quart crock pot over a period of 8 hours (4 hours uncovered on high, stirring every hour, then 4 hours covered on high, stirring every hour.) I also added 2 more chipolte chile peppers to amke it a bit warmer, and 1 pasilla de Oaxaca chile pepper, diced fine.
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can freeze the chili and have it whenever you want!

Bill A

I don’t see pasilla de oxaca chiles listed in the ingredients. How much do you use?


They’ve linked to the Greek oregano, but I use the Mexican for it’s stronger flavor.

Thanks for the favorable remarks.

Michael B

I have made this recipe a few times with the following modifications:
1) I used stew meat instead of the ground beef and diced pork chops instead of the ground pork (or skip the pork and go with all beef). I brown the meat first. I’ve found that diced brisket also works well.
2) No green bell peppers. I find the red bell peppers are OK, but not really necessary.
3) I use a combination of the hot Spanish paprika and the sweet Hungarian paprika. I’m not sure that this makes a huge difference.
4) I skip the rosemary.

With the above modifications, I end up with a hearty chili that contains chunks of meat that “fall apart” as you’re eating them, among the best I’ve had (and certainly the best I’ve made). It lives up to its name in that most people do in fact generate some head sweat when eating it.

Glyn C

Real (Texas) chili doesn’t have bell peppers and this doesn’t have enough meat. Other than that it’s a pretty good recipe. Thank God, it doesn’t have beans in the basic recipe! I like a little brown sugar (if it’s needed) to cut any bitterness from the peppers.
A Texan, brought up right by Wick Fowler….

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