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Concentrated Hell Chili

A community recipe by

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The name of this chili is taken from a line in the musical version of Cyrano de Bergerac, book and lyrics by Anthony Burgess. In the opening scene, Ragueneau explains to Christian of Roxanne's predicament regarding the Count de Guiche who has designs on her although wed to another, and plans to have Roxanne marry a complacent Viscount who will allow the Count to have his way. Because of her social position, Roxanne is near powerless to prevent this because, as Ragueneau puts it, "... de Guiche could unleash, if he wish, enough concentrated hell to make her wish she had never been born!" (Good God, I have strange thought processes.) Also, a word or two about the American spelling of this dish. We spell it CHILI, with only one L. The pepper pod itself it CHILE with an E at the end. This is not a purist's form of Chili, to be sure. There are those who hold that real Chili is just meat and the spicy gravy, and cringe at the notion of adding beans. And I've made my fondness of canned no-bean Wolf Brand Chili from Texas well known on this board. But this version isn't too shabby, either.


Serves: 6-8

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 new mexico dried chile pods (or anaheim)
  • 2 pasilla chile pods (or ancho)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 2 cans lager
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • tabasco


Concentrated Hell Chili is a community recipe submitted by JonMc and has not been tested by so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • The night before cooking, rinse beans thoroughly, inspect for any twigs, stones, and bad looking beans, and place in a six-quart stew pot. Add the salt and one bottle/can of lager, and enough water to come up over the beans by a couple of finger knuckle joints. Stir, put on the lid, and place in refridgerator.
  • The following day, add two more cups of water to the soaking liquid. (I don't throw it away.) Set pot over medium heat, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, one envelope of the onion soup mix, and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Stir. Dice the entire onion and add to the pot.
  • Let the liquid come to a boil, reduce to a hard simmer and let cook until the beans are tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened. (If the beans are not yet done but are becoming dry, add some hot water to the pot.) Stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, tear or snip open the chile pods, discarding the stems and seeds. Tear or snip the pods to pieces into a blender*. Pour the other bottle/can of lager into the blender, and add the cayenne pepper and oregano, the tomato sauce, and the remaining envelope of onion soup mix. Blitz until completely blended.
  • In a large skillet, pour a little vegetable oil, bring it up to heat, and brown your ground beef, breaking it up with your spatula. Add the cumin. A little salt and black pepper would not be unwelcome. Once the meat is cooked through, much of its water cooked away, and taken on just a bit of crisp browning, pour the contents of the blender into that. Allow to simmer about ten minutes.
  • Add the meat mixture to the beans in the pot, stir, and taste to adjust for salt if needed. Add ten shots of Tabasco sauce, stir and let simmer for twenty to thirty minutes. Cover, remove from heat, allow to come to room temperature, and refridgerate overnight. Trust me, this will greatly improve the flavor. Your patience will be rewarded.
  • Additional Information


    Serve with corn bread, a cool crisp cole slaw, and plenty of cold beer, for 6 to 8 people.

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