Winner Winner Chili Dinner

David already wowed my work crew with an awesome pumpkin cheesecake for our Thanksgiving meal. I of course had to recruit him to also cook for our chili cookoff. Man did I pick a good cook for a husband (which is great since I myself am not one). He made this chili recipie when we had Christmas at the Lazer and it was a hit! We put a bit too much red pepper in it this time (hence the Dr. Pepper award), but we still walked away with Best in Show!... And of course by "we" I really mean David (although I did do most of the stirring and I did dump in a couple cans of tomatoes...) I can't figure out how to link to a seperate page to give the click on Comments below and there you will find them!


  1. Winning Chili Recipe-

    The ratio is as follows:
    3/4 - 1 lb meat (80/20) --the meat should NOT be frozen and needs to be warming to room temperature (putting frozen meat into a hot pan is a recipe for toughness)
    2 (14 oz) cans tomatoes (or one 28 oz can; I like to use half "crushed" and half "diced" or whole", but that depends on how chunky you want your tomatoes)
    1 (14 oz) can kidney or red beans
    1/2 large onion

    A good amount would probably be to double that...I did almost 8 times that for Saturday night.

    You also need flavor additions:
    chili powder
    cayenne pepper
    parsley (for all the herbs, you can use fresh sprigs/leaves, but don't have to; you'll have to use more quantity if you go fresh because they still have water in them; I actually prefer to use dried because they're easier to keep around)
    garlic cloves
    poblano chili (these are the big, long dark green ones; they vary in spiciness, so you may have to taste a bit of the cooked flesh before adding to the pan)
    jalapeno pepper (if you want it HOT!)
    olive oil
    kosher salt
    fresh ground pepper
    beer/wine (your preference!) or water, about half a beer or 1/2 cup of wine

    And the following instruments:
    Large pot (4-6 quarts; I prefer a lower, wider one) with lid
    2 medium sized bowls
    cutting board and knife for chopping onion/peppers/etc
    aluminum foil

    Finely chop your onion and place in a bowl. In a little piece of aluminum foil, put a few cloves of garlic with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Wrap it up so nothing can leak. Put the packet in a toaster oven (or big oven) away from direct heat. Also, put your peppers in the oven on a aluminum foil-lined sheet with a little olive oil and put them in the oven, away from direct heat. You basically want to leave these in to tenderize the flesh for about 20 minutes. You'll have to watch the peppers to make sure they aren't burning, but you want them to brown a little bit and get puffy. 350 degrees should be about right.

    Brown the beef in the pot/pan over medium high heat and season liberally with salt and pepper. You want to undercook the meat (it should have spots of pink throughout), unless you have to serve the chili in less than an hour.

    Drain the fat from the meat and transfer the meat to one of the bowls.

    Drizzle a little olive oil into the pan the meat just departed from and throw in the onions. Keep the heat on medium/medium high and liberally salt. You want the onions to reduce and become clear...a little caramelizing (browning) is fine.

    Your peppers and garlic should be ready. If they aren't turn the heat down on the onions. The flesh of the peppers will be hot and soft. You want to remove the seeds and stem without scraping away the juices (if the outside is charred black, you should take this off). Chop the flesh. Remove the garlic pieces from their packet and rough chop them...then put all the peppers, garlic, and the salt/pepper/olive oil into the onion pan (you may not want to put all the pepper in at once, especially the jalepeno). Put in a good bit (1 T) each of the spices (except for cayenne pepper and paprika; use half a tablespoon) and herbs (these will burn if left in too long, but you want them to start getting saturated and letting their flavors infuse into the mixture, especially if you're using dried herbs).

    Turn the heat back up to high and mix. You don't want the garlic and peppers to remain in here too long, or they'll burn, but you do want a little bit of it to get brown and sticky on the bottom of the pan. Pour in your alcohol (or water)...there should be an explosion of steam. Immediately stir, scraping the bottom to "deglaze" the pan.

    Wait no more than a minute before pouring in your first can of tomatoes. You basically want the tomatoes to drastically reduce the heat so nothing sticks to the bottom anymore. Keep the heat up at medium high, though, and pour in the rest of the beans (drained of their juice), tomatoes, and beef. If you're using whole, diced tomatoes, you may have to squish them up with your hands to get them the size you want. The whole tomatoes will squirt on you if you're not careful...and I like to try to get as much of their liquid and as little of their seeds into the pot.

    When the pan gets to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let this sit, stirring occasionally to let the flavors marry for about 30 minutes. Taste. Adjust spiciness, herbiness, saltiness, pepperiness according to your heart's desire (you may have to add as much as two or three times the spices/herbs as you already have--again, favor the chili powder if you want a true chili flavor) and let simmer for awhile. Taste again and adjust if you so desire. The longer you can let this sit and simmer, the better. Enjoy.

    Well, I hope you can decipher my cook-speak and that you can make some darn good chili.

    Have a wonderful day!



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