Chili! Stock photo. Imagine the same but with more Polish babushka nanas. 

Chris Mueller – Radio Host, 93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh. Level-headed host, energetic home cook.

Chris Mueller’s Polish Pistol Whip Chili 

Here it is (the original recipe, plus a bunch of my notes and modifications), passed down with pride through several generations of Polish women to me:


4 lb. ground beef (I try to get 90/10 lean, but anything down to 80/20 works)
3 slices of bacon, chopped into smallish chunks
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handful granulated sugar
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 can tomato soup (normal sized Campbells–I forget how many ounces that is)
4 15oz cans light red kidney beans, drained
1 handful of salt
1 heaping tablespoon each of chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper


You’ll need about an 8 quart stockpot to make this with a comfortable amount of room to spare.

Chop up the bacon and cook on medium heat it for a few minutes, this really only serves to grease the bottom of the pot.

Add in the onion and cook it til it is translucent
Add in the celery and cook til it is dull green
Toss in the minced garlic and stir in
Add the green pepper, cover with sugar, and cook until the color fades
Add ground beef and stir until all of it is browned
Add about a cup of water, just enough to cover the top of the ground beef
Put a lid on it and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes
After 45 minutes, add in tomato paste and stir, as well as tomato soup
Add in chili, paprika and cayenne pepper and stir thoroughly
Drain kidney beans and add to the pot.
Let sit on low heat for 10-15 minutes and serve.

So that’s the recipe that was handed down to me. A few notes:
1. If you’d prefer larger chunks of beef, stir as infrequently as possible when browning beef. For finer chili, do the opposite.
2. Use an actual table spoon for the spices, not a measuring one.
3. If you have an aversion to bacon (I am guessing you do not) you can use butter to grease the pan
4. My mom uses real fresh garlic–I just use the minced stuff from a jar.
5. The onion and celery measurements are guesses–the “real” recipe calls for a Cool Whip container sized helping of each.
6. Depending on how much of each spice you put in, this ranges from pretty mild to pleasantly spicy.

Here are my alterations:

I use one yellow, one orange, and one red pepper. The general net effect of that is that the chili is sweeter.
Here’s an optional list of spices. I would put no more than a normal table spoon of any of them in:
Cajun seasoning
Curry powder
Red pepper flakes

I’ve also used a handful of black pepper, and a big squirt of sriracha at the end.

If you add in all the optional spices…good luck and don’t blame me for anything that happens to you. It is an intense heat. I like it, but it is vicious.

Need even more football watching-centric recipe ideas? Find the complete archive of Football Foodie/Foodball recipes hereand all recipes that have appeared on KSK here.