If you’re a fan of The Office, you probably know what I’m talking about when I mention “the chili scene.” It’s the cold open on season 5, episode 26, and it begins with Kevin proudly walking into the office with an enormous stock pot full of chili. By the time he walks past the reception desk, Kevin drops the chili, making a gargantuan mess, which he tries to scoop back up using stuff from Pam’s desk. People magazine reports that an eagle-eyed TikTok user has located the recipe for that very chili embedded in a pretty unusual spot: The Peacock User Agreement.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the clip in question:
We’ve all spilled shit at some point, right? Boyfriend of TikTok user @mckenziefloyd was scrolling through streaming service Peacock’s user agreement and stumbled upon something unusual hidden within the text.
“I’m trying to figure out why the chili from The Office, the recipe, is on here in the terms of conditions with the instructions,” the TikTok user says. “Why was that necessary to put on here? And then it just goes back to the regular terms and conditions. I’m not understanding!”
If you watch the video carefully, the entire recipe is indeed there, from ingredients all the way through detailed chili-making instructions.
Since it’s now available to everyone—or at least, all Peacock users—we’re sharing the recipe below.
- 4 dried ancho chiles
- 2 Tbs neutral oil (vegetable, canola or grapeseed)
- 3 lbs ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 lean)
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1 Tbs dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 2 12 oz. bottles of beer (lager or pale ale)
- 3 cans Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 ½ cups chopped ripe tomatoes
- 2 Tbs kosher salt
- Chopped scallions, shredded Jack cheese and sour cream for topping
- Tear ancho chiles into pieces, discarding seeds and stems. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, toast chiles over medium-high, stirring occasionally until very fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer toasted ancho chiles to a food processor or spice mill and process until very finely ground. Set aside.
- Add oil to pot and heat over medium-high. Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally to break beef into small pieces, until well browned (about 6 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion to pot and cook briefly over medium-high until barely softened, about 2 minutes. The secret is to undercook the onions.
- Using a garlic press, press garlic directly into the pot, 1 clove at a time. Then stir in jalapeños, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and tomato paste. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beer and continue to cook, stirring and scraping the pan, about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put beans in a large bowl and mash briefly with a potato masher until broken up but not fully mashed.
- Add mashed beans, stock, tomatoes, salt, and cooked beef to pot. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low to maintain simmer and cook 2 hours so everything gets to know each other in the pot. Remove from heat, uncover and let stand at least 1 hour (can also be refrigerated 8 hours or overnight).
- Reheat gently, taste and add more salt if necessary, and serve with your favorite toppings. We recommend chopped scallions, shredded Jack cheese and sour cream.
Before diving back into the user agreement, there’s a footer that says: “Enjoy! While we wish you could dish us up a bowlful (without spilling it all over our reception area, naturally), feel free to share this recipe (tagging @peacocktv, of course). And now, back to your regularly scheduled legal document.”
After looking through the recipe, I’ve got some mixed feelings. It starts out strong with the addition of delicious ancho chiles, which are relatively sweet and not terribly spicy. The rest of the seasoning is pretty straightforward, including oregano, cumin, and cayenne.
But then the recipe mentions that it requires three whopping pounds of ground beef. That is a lot, but I guess Kevin was attempting to feed a whole office. Also, you’re supposed to partially smash up the beans (?!) before putting them in the pot. Instead of using canned tomatoes, it uses two and a half cups of fresh ones. Fresh tomatoes will cook down, but they won’t add too much flavor, even though two tablespoons of tomato paste is included to punch up the ’mater flavor.
So, what do you think? Would you make this recipe at home for yourselves? I’m on the fence with this one. Still, pretty cool that NBCUniversal decided to spill the beans.