Brown’s Ferry Brown (Chili Recipe)

Brown’s Ferry Brown is my latest chili recipe. A meaty, flavorful chili with medium-low heat and low acidity, it uses both dried and fresh ingredients. The recipe is designed for chili cook-off quantities (6 to 8 quarts depending on thickness). Divide as needed.


4 pounds ground chuck, coarse-ground if possible. 80% lean or better

4 pounds stew or fajita beef, lean and sliced in strips

4 14 oz cans beef broth

4 8 oz cans tomato Sauce

10 Roma tomatoes, diced

2 large white onions, diced

4 tbsp paprika

4 tbsp minced or (preferably) granulated onion

2 tsp minced or (preferably) granulated garlic

20 tbsp (1-1/4 cup) Chili powder

4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

4 poblano peppers, diced, without seeds

8 beef bouillon cubes

4 chicken bouillon cubes

4 tbsp ground cumin


Soak the bouillon cubes in a small amount of hot water, then crush them and stir until you have a dense, dark soup. Set aside.

Brown all meat in a skillet and drain as much fat as possible. Place meat in a large stock pot and cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a slow boil and cook covered for 30 minutes.

Add beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and diced onions and cook covered for an additional 30 minutes.

Add the paprika, granulated onion, cayenne pepper, poblano peppers, bouillon cube soup, and 60% of the chili powder. Slow boil covered for another 30 minutes. Stir frequently beyond this point.

Add the rest of the chili powder, garlic, cumin, and salt as desired. Continue to boil slowly as long as desired, adding warm water as necessary to maintain consistency. Don’t allow the chili to get too thick or it’ll burn at the bottom; continue to stir frequently. If you want very thick chili, let it boil down uncovered in the last 30-90 minutes of cooking and stir even more frequently.

Serve with saltine crackers, grated cheese, and (optionally) sliced jalapeño peppers. Beans, if desired, should be served separately — real chili does not have beans in it! Enjoy.


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