Baked Tater Tots with Bill Pfeiffer’s Capitol Punishment Chili

This is Chef Tony’s favorite go-to chili recipe…and he loves it best with tater tots!

The recipe is courtesy of Bill Pfeiffer, who won the 14th Annual World’s Championship Chili Cook-off back in 1980. Ladies and gentlemen…Capitol Punishment Chili!


  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 9 Tbsp. chili powder (light)
  • 4 Tbsp. cumin
  • 4 Tbsp. beef bouillon (instant crushed)
  • 2 cans beer
  • 2 Cups water
  • 4 lbs. extra lean chuck (chili ground)
  • 2 pounds extra lean pork (chili ground)
  • 1 lbs. extra lean chuck (cut in 1/4 cubes)
  • 2 large onions (finely chopped)
  • 10 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil or suet
  • 1 tspn. mole (powdered)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1 8-oz can Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Masa Harina flour
  • Salt to taste


In a large pot add paprika, oregano, chili powder, cumin, beef bouillon, beer and two cups water.

Let simmer.

In a separate skillet brown 1 1/2 pounds meat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or suet until meat is light brown.

Drain and add to simmering spices.

Continue until all meat has been added.

Saute finely chopped onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil or kidney suet.

Add to spices and meat mixture.

Add water as needed. Simmer 2 hours.

Add mole, sugar, coriander, Tabasco and Hunts Tomato Sauce.

Simmer 45 minutes.

Dissolve Masa Harina flour in warm water (pasty) and add to chili.

Add salt to taste.

Simmer 30 minutes.

For hotter chili, add additional Tabasco to taste.

Recipe for Chili Tots


  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 lb of Bill Pffeiffer’s winning chili
  • ¾ Cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¾ Cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Other toppings of your choice
  • ¼ Cup diced green onions
  • Sour cream on the side (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread frozen tater tots on a lightly sprayed sheet pan in a single layer and bake until extra crispy (but not dried out).

Remove from oven and spread chili on top, cover with cheese blend and bake until cheese is completely melted!

Garnish with diced green onions and serve with sour cream on the side.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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