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Stevarino’s 4 Alarm Chili con Carne

After living in the great state of Texas for a quarter of a decade, I learned a few enhancements to the Hoosier style that my Mom used to make.
The alarms can and should be adjusted to accommodate various levels of gastronomical tolerance.

Image source: rob_rob200 on flickr.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)


  • 2 lb very lean ground beef
  • 7 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup day old coffee
  • 2 T masa
  • 2 8oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 8oz. can stewed tomatoes (crushed, sliced or diced)
  • 3 to 4 small diced serrano peppers or 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers (seed removal is recommended)


  • Simmer onions and garlic until onions are clear.
  • Brown ground beef and drain.
  • Combine onions, garlic and ground beef into a large soup pot.
  • Stir in tomato sauce and 2 cans of water.
  • Mix all ingredients except cayenne pepper and masa.
  • Simmer 30 min.
  • Add as much pepper as desired.
  • Mix masa and 1/4 c warm water.
  • Stir flour mixture into chili.
  • Simmer 20 min.
  • Add the diced peppers to taste as this step provides the 4th alarm.
  • Continue to simmer on low heat while occasionally stirring for at least an additional hour.

This recipe is a work in progress, so please leave your feedback to help develop this chili into a serious cook-off contender in any state.

Steve D.


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