3 Next-Level Chili Recipes to Spice Up Your Life

By: Mike Dunn | Segun Oduolowu Posted: 10:57 AM, Feb 8, 2019 Updated: 9:04 AM, Feb 11, 2019

Chili is a classic comfort food that’s hearty and versatile. We met with Chef Jon-Paul who shared three recipes to take your chili game to the next level.


1. Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Chili

Let’s start with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Chili. For this one, Chef Jon-Paul used wild boar and bison!




2 poblano chilis

6 ancho chilis

½ lb. bacon, ground

1 lb. venison, ¼” cube (hindquarter is the best)

1 lb. wild boar, ¼” cube (hindquarter is the best)

2 lbs. yellow onions, ¼” dice

½ cup garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 cups tomatoes, ¼” dice

2 cups veal stock

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons cumin

¼ cup chili powder

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons cayenne (diced jalapeño or serrano peppers are a great substitute for dry cayenne)




Blister skin from poblanos, peel, then remove seeds and ribs. Cut into ¼” dice.


Remove seeds from ancho chilies. Soak in half cup water to soften about 10 minutes. Purée in blender with a little veal stock. Set aside.


Render the fat from the bacon and reserve the cooked bacon and the drippings.


Clean all the venison and wild boar free of connective tissue and silverskin, and with a sharp knife cube into ¼” pieces.

Next, brown the meat in small batches using high heat, a large heavy pot or skillet, and several tablespoons of bacon drippings. By cooking in small batches, you will sear and brown the meat quickly. This will give you the proper texture and color – rich brown, not gray.


Remove the meat and set aside while you sauté the onions, garlic, celery, and poblanos in the same pot used for the meat. Add bacon drippings as needed.


Add the cooked bacon, then the tomatoes, veal stock, lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder and puréed anchos.


Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the browned meat and simmer slowly for 45 minutes to an hour, adding a little beer or water as it becomes too thick.


2. Chili con Carne

Next is Chili con Carne – quick and simple with classic ingredients. A special twist for this for this one is to use dried pasilla chilis for a fresher flavor.




2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 pound ground beef

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups drained and rinsed canned pinto beans

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground chili, such as ancho (not a chili powder blend)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano




Heat oil in a large pan. Add onion, green pepper and beef, and cook until meat is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce and simmer 5 minutes.


Add beans, garlic salt and salt. Stir in ground chili, cumin and oregano and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle chili into soup bowls and serve with your choice of toppings.


3. Spicy Black Bean Chili 

If you want something vegetable-based with a big, bold flavor, try this Spicy Black Bean Chili





3 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 cup diced red onion

1/4 green bell pepper, diced (about 1/3 cup)

1/2 cup small diced delicata squash

5 tablespoons minced garlic

1/2 cup whole coriander seeds, toasted

1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 quart water

1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup cooked sweet corn kernels

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin powder

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

3 cups cooked black beans (2 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast




In a very large soup pot, heat the sunflower oil on high; add the onion, bell pepper, squash and minced garlic. Cook 3-5 more minutes, stirring as needed, until onions become translucent and garlic begins to brown.


Toast the coriander and grind in blender. Add both cans of tomatoes to soup pot, along with the water, agave nectar, salt, vinegar, corn, cumin, chipotle and coriander. Reduce heat to medium, bring to a simmer for 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.


Add cooked beans and nutritional yeast. Turn off heat and mix well. Blend 1 quart of chili in blender until smooth and mix back into rest of chili.


And now you’ve got three ways to take your chili game up a notch!