Deceptively spicy chili

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No one will suspect this chili is actually nuclear hot until they take their first bite.

Deceptively spicy chili

Chili is a lot like a snowflake. No two batches are ever alike, but still no one is going to be expecting just how hot this particular batch of deceptively spicy chili is until they've taken their first bite. The key, though, is to not tell your friends how hot it is. Therefore, when they ask if it's hot, tell them it might be a little warm, but you have sour cream to cool it off.

Then get ready to laugh out loud when they take their first bite.

Yields 8 servings


  • 4 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried chipotles
  • 1 dried ghost chili (or 3 more chipotles)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground hot Italian sausage
  • 42 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • Sour cream (for the deception)


  1. Bring about 2 cups of water to boil, then add all three types of dried chilies to the pot. Kill the heat and put the lid on the pot. Let the peppers steep for about 20 minutes, then put them in a food processor with a little water to make a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a soup pot, add the olive oil and let it get hot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, Sriracha and a pinch of salt and sauté the onions until they are translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Next, add the black pepper, ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook them until done all the way through, then add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cayenne and pepper paste.
  4. Stir well and bring the tomato sauce to a boil. Serve with the optional sour cream.

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