As the retired 5-Time Chili Champ of Franklin’s Pumpkinfest , I am allowed a ‘lil braggin room y’all.

First off, this recipe will make you about a gallon of premium, award winning chili. Not the 20 gallons I had to make each year, so you are welcome.

Secondly, no this isn’t Texas chili. I am quite aware Texas chili doesn’t have beans. But, when you are feeding a few hundred peeps, you add beans. Like our ancestors did as they crossed this great country of ours. And because it’s cheaper.

Anyway kids, the most important thing here is the “rub” and “the soak” . Skip this step, short change it, it won’t be as good as it could be. With that being said here we go:

Prep Time – 1 hour

Soaking time – 6+ hours

Cook Time – 4 hours minimum


1 lb. Ground Beef

1 lb. stew meat

1 lb( or package) of smoked sausage or kielbasa ( yes turkey will work)


2 cans chili beans

2 can red beans

1 can black beans

2 CANS of Guinness ( why? the widget in the can makes the difference in the quality)

Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp Ancho Chile Powder

2 Tbsp Chipolte Chili Powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tbsp Chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 cloves garlic minced

1 Large Sweet Vidalia Onion Diced

1 28 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

Salt ( hickory smoked sea salt works best if you can find it)


olive oil

Guinness Chili Directions:

  • Ok, first off this is a 2-day process, or a VERY long 1 day process. Put oil in the bottom of your pot. Heat it up to about medium and toss your ground beef in. Once it starts to brown a bit, toss in your onion and garlic. Now Your stew meat. While this is all going dice your sausage and toss it in. Chunks or cubes, matters not.
  • Once your ground beef is cooked, then pull your pot off the heat. Don’t stress the stew meat , if it’s medium rare -eesh that’s fine. It will cook thru in the soak later. Same with the smoked sausage or kielbasa( overcooking makes stew meat chewy and sausage mealy).
  • Now , carefully strain all the oil off. Let the mixture sit in a large strainer for a few just to make sure the grease pours off well.
  • Put mixture back in the pot and grab the chili powders (“the rub”) and toss in and mix well with a large spoon. Grab the Guinness. Open both. Pour 1 1/2 into mix. Drink other half. Stir.
  • Now this mix needs to sit for at LEAST 6 hours. It can sit on your stove top. If this freaks you out, then toss it in the fridge, but, the soak isn’t as great. If you are soaking overnight. leave it out of the fridge for as long as you can. Letting soak at room temp, really allows those spices and Guinness to permeate the mixture.
  • After “the soak” put back on stove top. I like low and slow. Low simmer. Add beans, tomatoes, (juices and all for both) ,tomato paste, cayenne, and cumin and stir together. Start with 1 tbsp. salt and 1/2 pepper and stir in. Cover
  • Let slow simmer for an hour stirring occasionally. Make sure to “scrape” bottom. Most chili is ruined by not getting those good bits off the bottom.
  • Taste your chili, add salt and pepper as needed. Stir occasionally for another hour.
  • Hour 3- Again, taste your chili and adjust salt, pepper, and if it’s not spicy enuff for you, add 1 more tsp. of cayenne. Stir Occassionally. Cover.
  • Hour 4 – Remove cover. Grab your brown sugar and add 2 tbsp. Stir. Keep uncovered. About 15 minutes later give it a taste. You should grab this rich, slightly bitter then sweet then heat taste. If not enuff sweet add a tbsp of brown sugar until you reach desired taste. Let slow simmer for as long as you can or at least another hour, stirring occasionally.

Garnish- Guinness . Throw out the cheese, sour cream, all that other junk. This chili is good enough to stand alone!