Cook’s Recipe: Epic-Level Chili

Whomever it was that said that a fellowship could survive on Lembas alone was a lunatic. When adventuring into the depths of unknown evils or simply venturing forth into the icy clutches of a winter’s eve, it is comforting to do so after a rich meal of substance. A full stomach helps fuel a strong mind to steel itself against any adversary, no matter how ghoulish, gigantic, or grotesque it may be.  

Yet be warned, would be warriors of the walk-in! This chili is not for those with weak dexterity scores or fortitude saves. This is not simply a heat and serve dish. This, is EPIC LEVEL CHILI. Combining a variety of the Cook’s disciplines to craft a singular hearty and sumptuous dish. A perfect accompaniment to a weekend spent watching padded ogres and giants duel over a leather sack or after a long day of slogging through a dungeon delve.

8 ounces Sweet corn (drained if in a can)
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound ground Bison meat**
1 cup Beef stock
1/3 cup Red wine
1/3 cup Worcestershire
1 shot of Espresso
2 tablespoons Chipotle Tabasco
2 ounces Mexican chocolate
1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)
1 can of tomato paste

Red pepper
Cubanelle pepper
(Any pepper type can be substituted depending on what is available in your area. Remember that peppers all have different heat levels, so plan accordingly depending on the level of heat you want in the dish)

Spice mixture:
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
2 tablespoon Chili powder
1/2 tablespoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon of Cumin
1 teaspoon Espresso

Large dutch oven


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Once the oven is pre-heated, roast the peppers, tomato, and garlic for about 40 minutes to an hour, or until the skin becomes dark and pulls away from the flesh. Turn the veggies once halfway through.
  3. While waiting, toast the sweet corn and onion in butter over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together all the spices and incorporate to even out the mixture.
  5. Add the meat to the pot and brown on all sides. Add in 2/3 of the spice mixture and mix together.
  6. Add the beef stock to the pot along with all the other “wet” ingredients. Add in the chocolate a few chunks at a time and allow it to melt into the chili. Using Mexican chocolate is key because of the spices that are inherent to it. 
  7. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven. Next, chop and place into food processor. Process but do not puree, it should resemble a chunky relish.
  8. Then add in the diced tomatoes along with the roasted vegetables that were previously processed. Turn the heat to high and add the  tomato paste and the rest of the spice mixture. Mix well and leave over the high heat for 5-10 minutes. The chili will begin to thicken.
  9. Turn the oven to 275, put the cover on the pot and place in the oven for 2 hours. Serve immediately with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and any other toppings.

*If a dutch oven or other pot that can transfer from the stove top to the oven is not available, simply allow the chili to simmer on the stove for a few hours, covered on low heat.

** Bison meat has a richer flavor and nice ratio of protein to fat that gives this dish an unique flavor. However any mixture of ground meats can be used as a substitute.

The heat profile for this chili is specifically designed to not be overpowering. Instead, with each bite there should be a tinge of heat that appears then slowly dissipates in the after-taste. Leaving more of the membrane/seeds of the jalapeno intact will create a more intense heat sensation, as will adjusting some of the spice ratios, should you desire a more powerful chili.