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My Award Winning Chili Recipe

Posted by homebrewdad on 10/30/2014 at 05:21:28 AM

Last week, I posted about success brewing for my company, followed by winning the company chili cook off. It was a pretty cool week for me, no doubt.

Well, a surprising amount of people have contacted me to ask for my chili recipe. I'm not one of those "it's a secret you'll have to pry from my corpse" kind of guys; I'm happy to share.

A few notes:

I am aware that some (looking at you, Texas) hold that "real" chili contains no beans. That's fine, but mine does. It has two kinds of beans, as a matter of fact. If that bothers you... well, this isn't the recipe for you.

This chili is rather spicy; I feel like if you don't get a bit of a runny nose when you eat it, then it's not hot enough.

Please understand that I learned to cook from my mother, who is a notorious "pinch of this, dash of that" kind of cook. This is her base recipe, though I have changed and adapted it over the years (for one, it WAY spicier than she used to do).

Every single time that I cook my chili, I season it to taste... which means that the exact amount of pepper and such does vary. I'll give some wild approximations on seasoning in the ingredient list below, but you really should follow the "season to taste" methodology to ensure that you're happy with the end result. Realize, too, that red pepper tends to "bloom" a bit overnight, so reheated chili may be even spicier than the fresh batch.

Finally, I'm giving this recipe exactly as it won the competition. This is a large batch, yielding nearly six quarts of thick, hearty goodness (you can very nearly eat my chili with a fork). I did not bring a single bite of it home... which is pretty typical. My wife's family demands that I bring it to their family reuinions, and it likewise all goes quickly there.

Without further adieu, here we go - Homebrew Dad's Chili recipe!

  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 packs of French's Chilio seasoning mix
  • 2 large jalapeno peppers
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 3 cans of spicy chili beans
  • 1 can of vegetarian baked beans
  • 2 cans of sliced stewed tomoatoes
  • 3 cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (?) red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon (?) ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (?) chili powder (mexican chili powder is my favorite)
Yes, I am aware that Chilio seasoning mix is basically just flour, chili powder, paprika - with a small amount of other seasonings. I'm also aware that it's a quick and easy way to get a nice base for the chili. That flour provides some thickening, which (to me) is vital for really good chili.


Dice the onion very fine (a food processor is your friend). Brown the ground beef with the onion. Drain the meat mixture and dump it into a large pot, the add the Chilio (one pack per pound of ground beef).

Dice your peppers very fine (again, I recommend a food processor) and add them to the mixture. I find that these fresh peppers give more of a rounded, "green" flavor that really plays well. Be sure to mix everything well at this point.

Add your various canned goods. The vegetarian baked beans add a bit of sweetness that goes really makes a nice compliment to the spiciness. Add your pepper and chili powder, but leave these all out on the counter - you're going to probably want more as you go.

Stir everything up well. Using medium heat, bring the chili to a simmer, then reduce to medium low heat (keep it warm enough to periodically bubble). Simmer the chili low and slow - at least an hour, three is better. Be sure to stir often, as the dense mixture can scorch fairly easily at the bottom of your pot, and this will screw up the batch.

I personally break my tomatoes up into very small chunks as I stir. I also tend to taste fairly frequently, and add more pepper flakes very often - this is my dominant spice. However, I will add small amounts of ground red pepper and chili powder. I'm not sure that I've ever added too much pepper.

I love to sprinkle a little shredded, VERY sharp cheddar on my chili when I serve it, but that may not be your thing.

Tags for this post: chili, recipe, award, winning, cooking

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