Matt’s Scotch-Irish Chili

Editor’s Note: I am often asked for my chili recipe so here it is (for something completely different. As the cold comes, enjoy.

Matt’s Scotch-Irish Chili:



3 Bell Peppers chopped (I prefer one bell, 1 yellow, 1 red for color)*

3 Onions diced

Jalapenos (as many as desired for desired level of heat) diced*

Seasonal peppers diced (as many as desired for desired level of heat)*

1 Habanero pepper diced* +

1 package fresh mushrooms chopped (I prefer steak mushrooms)

1 Can Red Beans

1 Can Dark Beans

1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Chili Beans

1 Can Roasted Tomatoes

1 Can Tomato Sauce

1 Can Tomato Paste

1 Package Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

1 Lb. Meat and 1 Lb. Steak strips

1 Package Hebrew National Franks

1 Package Sour Cream

1 Can Dr. Pepper

2 Bottles Guinness Extra Stout

2 Shots Jack Daniels Whiskey

Spices (to taste):

Mix liberally (heavier on Cumin and Chili Powder): Cumin, Chili Powder, Ginger, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Salt, Vanilla, Cinnamon

Day Before Service:

* Cut up peppers and 2 onions; soak in a bottle of Guinness overnight.

* Soak meat overnight in Jack Daniels BBQ sauce.

* Create Roux: Combine 1 bottle of Guinness, can of Dr. Pepper, 2 shots of Jack Daniels, cup of flour, and two cups of water in container, heat to boiling, simmer for an hour, and let sit overnight.

Approximately 8 to 12 hours before service:

* Strain all liquids from beans, and tomatoes and place in pot. Add spices. Simmer in pot for roughly 30 minutes.

* While simmering are Brown meat on unit. Salt and pepper the meat. Cook in butter.

* Also sweat and caramelize the onions and peppers over medium heat. I cook in a little EVO with some cinnamon as the caramelizing element.

* Add meat and onions to roux and simmer together.

*Once the roux and beans mixtures have reached a boil, add together in the pot.

* Set Crock Pot to alternating heat. The longer the pot goes the softer the ingredients become. I prefer cooking until the bell peppers have disappeared into the mixture, but not so long that the peppers and onion are gone.

* As Chili cooks it will create more and more liquid. I try to strain off excess liquid as I go, and seasoning as needed.

* The optimum taste will be sweet upon first tasting, and will have a bitter backend with a touch of heat on the tongue. The key is optimizing the sweet without overpowering the bitterness of the beans. Remember sweet and spicy……

Service (there are a variety of ways to serve, here is the full kit containing 5 levels):

  • 15 minutes before service,
    • Cook a handful or two of spaghetti noodles.
    • Likewise take remaining onion, dice finely, and set in a serving dish.
    • Pull Cheese out of freezer, and place in serving dish.
    • If meat not put inside chili an additional option comes into play now,  take Hebrew National Franks, boil, and chop up.
  • For service the full monty would look like this:

Bottom Layer: Noodles (if not a noodle fan, fritos are also a great base layer)

Next Layer: Chopped Franks

Next Layer: Huge heaping portion of Chili

Next Layer: Handful of Monterey Jack Cheese (preferably melting on chili)

Next Layer (optional): Sour Cream (optional- I am not a fan but some are)

Last Layer: Uncooked diced onion and jalapenos.

To complete the evening I prefer a nice, crisp IPA: Good People IPA is a local Birmingham favorite. The Stone IPA is best. Or keep it Scotch-Irish and go with a Bourbon Beer or Cask Ale (Kentucky Bourbon Ale is A-Ok).

For Dessert: I go with a nice stout. I prefer Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout.

* I prefer to remove all the seeds (they do provide most of the heat but also are the leading cause of heartburn and indigestion)

+ Habanero is very spicy….. Wear gloves when chopping. You do not want to accidentally touch your nose or eye with Habanero juice on them.


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