Dragon’s Breath Chili

As I saw the cold, gray and dreary weather beckoning from outside my windows last weekend, I was overcome with an urgency to get a big pot of chili on the stove ASAP. I threw some presentable clothes on in the morning, hurried to the grocery store and as I was gathering up my ingredients, happened to notice that all… well okay, most… of the shoppers there, I swear… had the exact same intention as I did. Living in Wisconsin, I don’t think I was far off in that assumption. Not only was the store unusually crowded, but every time I went to grab for an ingredient, it seems I had to wait my turn. Plus, it was an ‘away’ game for the UW Madison Badgers football team that Saturday so besides the chili chilly weather, it would be the perfect meal to eat while watching the game inside.

Last year I posted a fantastic recipe for an Amazing White Chicken Chili, which, if you haven’t tried already, I implore you to do so as soon as possible. It’s for your own good. You’ll make new friends, wow your current ones and experience a newly profound love from your family for years to come. Seriously. It’s an outstanding, no-fail, easy to whip up chili that my family and I seem to appreciate more and more each time I make it. It’s out-of-this-world delicious.

Gary Relaxing

But… that’s not what I made last weekend. Sometimes I do break down and make a red meat chili. (Mostly because…) 

Not often, but when I do, it’s got to be this Dragon’s Breath Chili that I’ve been making for a couple of years now. It’s a slightly adapted Guy Fieri recipe and don’t let the name scare ya’…. although it sounds like it’s a spicy, hot one, it’s really not. It could be if you added in more of your own heat, but as it’s written, it has just a touch of it… and I mean a touch. It’s not the kind that stays on your tongue and tortures you for the next half hour either. Weirdly, it actually doesn’t stay on your tongue at all. It’s really great. It also has three different kinds of chunky, beefy meat in it, so it satisfies that deepest, innermost craving and desire for a cold weather chunky-beefy-meaty chili. Which is why I chose this particular one last weekend. As usual… it did not disappoint. This is some wicked good stuff. Enjoy!

Dragon’s Breath Chili

Prep Time: 10 min

Inactive Prep Time:2 hr 0 min

Cook Time:15 min

10 to 15 servings


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 red bell peppers, diced (about 2 cups)

2 jalapenos, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

3 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped

3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped

2 yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)

1 head garlic, minced (about 1/4 cup)

1 pound boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 pounds ground beef, coarse grind

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

2 teaspoons granulated onion

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons hot paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 cups tomato sauce

1 cup tomato paste

12 ounces lager beer

1 cup chicken stock

2 (15.5-ounce) cans pinto beans, with juice

2 (15.5-ounce) cans kidney beans, with juice

Optional Garnishes:

Green Onions, thinly sliced

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Sour Cream (for dolloping)

Oh and can I add Fritos (to eat alongside) to this list?  😉


In large stock pot over high heat, add butter and oil. Add bell pepper, jalapeno, chiles and onion and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute longer. Add chuck and brown. Add ground beef and sausage to brown and stir gently, trying not to break up the ground beef too much. Cook until meat is nicely browned and cooked through, about 7 to10 minutes. Add in granulated onions, granulated garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add in tomato sauce and paste and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in beer and chicken stock. Add beans, lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Recipe slightly adapted from Guy Fieri, May 2008

2 thoughts on “Dragon’s Breath Chili

  1. Thats a really nice looking bowl of chili and I really appreciate the fact that it’s not painfully hot. I love chili but am a wimp when it comes to heat. Perfect recipe with the cold weather approaching.

    1. Thanks so much! It makes a good amount so it’s nice to be able to tuck some in your freezer for later as well. Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

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