My Chili Comes in a Close Second to Jeremy Thompson’s Chili

Peppers - Spicy, tasty, and a fantastic treat!

Peppers – Spicy, tasty, and a fantastic treat!

My cousin, Jeremy,  makes the absolute BEST chili I have ever had. He labors for hours slicing perfect tiny cubes of tri tip and simmers and prepares a chili that is delicious, spicy, savory, and meaty.  He once said, “beans have no place in chili.” Meat, meat, meat. I have to agree that his tri tip steak chili is divine, and unmatched, in my opinion, but because I don’t want to fill up on meat every night,  I want to have vegetarian options to work with when I’m just not feeling like getting in touch with my carnivore side.  

Jeremy shared his chili recipe with me years ago, and inspired by his creation, I crafted a similar, yet vegetarian, chili of my own. What set Jeremy’s chili apart from others I have tasted was the use of tri tip, bock beer, and tequila.  Genius! The flavors of the beer and the tequila mixed so perfectly with the spices and the steak that hardly any chili I tasted after his could rival it.  Could I ever make a chili as fantastic as my cousin’s creation? Perhaps. I use Corona or Negro Modelo for the beer, and I use red wine as opposed to tequila and a different ratio of spices. I love the richness that the wine adds to the recipe, but to tell you the truth, I am tempted to infuse some tequila with jalapeño and give that mix a go next time around! Here is my chili recipe. I’d say it comes in a close second to Jeremy’s.

Vegetarian Chili for Two


Cook Time: 75 minutes

2-5 servings


  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1/4 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chop finely and remove seeds to taste - the fewer seeds, the less spicy the chili will be)
  • 1/2 can small green chilis (I use mild)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 long carrots
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 chopped tomatos or one container of Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetarian broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1.5 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 jalapeno finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup beer (I use Corona or Negro Modelo)
  • 1/4 cup masa or finely pounded corn tortilla chips


  1. Chop the onion, celery, and carrot into 1x1 inch chunks to form a mirepoix soup base
  2. Heat a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat
  3. Once the pan is heated, add 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. Sauté the mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery mixture) until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the tablespoon of tomato paste to deglaze -stirring frequently for 2 minutes
  6. Reduce heat to low and add the 4 chopped tomatoes or container of Pomi tomatoes and stir
  7. Add 2 cans of drained kidney beans, the broth, wine, garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, chili powder, chipotle peppers and adobo, the chiles, and the jalapeño.
  8. Simmer on low for one hour - stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  9. After one hour, add the beer and simmer another 15 minutes.
  10. After the 15 minutes, add the masa or finely pounded corn tortilla chips to thicken the chili.
  11. Serve and enjoy!
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Yes, Jeremy, I know, I know…a chili isn’t chili without meat, but sometimes we want a vegetarian option as well. Your chili still reins supreme, and I admit that when I am feeling particularly carnvore-ey, I will use tri tip and beef broth instead of the beans and vegetarian broth, and I will use your bock beer and tequila combo – it balances nicely with the beef.  In fact, if he sends me his recipe and a picture, I’ll post it on the blog as his!

I haven’t made my chili for about a year and have no recent pictures of it, so for now the simple jalapeño picture is what you get! Next time I make this meal (this week, I promise), I’ll try it with the jalapeño infused tequila in place of the red wine and will let you all know how it turns out.  Until then, enjoy!