Thursday, January 31, 2013

“Award Winning” Beef Chili


We like football in our family. My son, Sam, is an especially avid, loyal Seahawks fan and you can imagine how happy we’d all be if the Seahawks were in this year’s Super Bowl! Sigh, it was an exciting season, but it was not meant to be. Let’s hope for next year! So, on Super Bowl Sunday, we will be gathered around to watch the Ravens and 49ers play and will, of course, need to eat.

My Super Bowl menu has evolved over the years to include deviled eggs, spicy Korean chicken wings, nachos (this year I’m making this Nacho Cheese Sauce) and our family chili – a thick, hearty bowl of simple beef, no beans. While I love veggie bean chili, sometimes the richness of beef is called for and that’s when I make this one.


Back in the late ‘90s, Bob entered his company-hosted chili cook-off. He and his buddy got together to create the ultimate meat chili. They wanted it to be pure beef. With beer. And spice and heat. But no beans. Now, I’m not kidding, this chili really is award winning! Judges came from CASI for the chili cook-off to taste and judge, and this chili won first prize for the meat category! I really wish I had a photo to share with you from the event, but this was back in my toddler-and-baby-days, and remembering a camera as we hustled out the door just didn’t happen. But what a thrill!

This hearty chili recipe is now part of our family repertoire, and the only tinker we’ve made is to add tomatoes ... we just really like tomatoes in our chili. Oh, and I decreased the amount of beer scrawled in the original recipe (or maybe that was the amount the guys consumed while cooking the chili?).


Making the chili couldn’t be easier as it’s done in the slow cooker. You could brown the meat and onions first in a frying pan if you’d like, but I prefer the ease of tossing everything into the crock pot, giving it a stir and leaving it to simmer all day. Fragrant spices, onions, garlic, chiles and tomatoes cook slowly with the beef, and it’s heavenly to come home to a house filled with the mouthwatering scent of chili. The beef becomes meltingly tender, and I use a couple of forks to shred and break up about half of the meat for a variety of textures. After scooping out a bowl of chili, be sure to have a toppings bar ready with green onions, corn chips, olives, avocadoes, sliced jalapenos and tomatoes. I like to add a squeeze of fresh lime to mine, too.


Robust, with a nice buzz of spice and loads of flavor, this is one to settle back and enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday!

Award Winning Beef Chili
Serves 6-8

4 pounds beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons chili powder (I use a medium spiced one from Penzey’s)
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 fresh jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise with seeds (increase or decrease to your taste)
12 ounces dark beer
14 ounces diced tomatoes, with juice
6 ounces tomato paste

Optional toppings
Corn chips
Green onions
Black olives
Diced tomatoes
Diced avocadoes
Sliced jalapenos
Lime wedges

Pull out your slow cooker. Add the beef, onion, garlic and spices and stir to coat. Add the jalapeno (s), beer, tomatoes and paste and stir gently to mix. Pop the lid on, set the cooker on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours and walk away.

When ready to serve, use 2 forks to shred and carefully break up about half the chunks of meat (the beef will be so soft it will be easy to do).  Serve the chili in bowls with toppings of your choice and enjoy!

31 comments:

  1. Yum! This sounds so good, and it's such a snap to put together!

    Even though the Seahawks gave my Packers a totally unnecessary loss this season, I was rooting for them to make it to the Super Bowl. I may or may not have a crush on Russell Wilson... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Brianne! The chili is indeed an easy one to make.

      My sons were at that Seahawks-Packers game! I appreciate your Super Bowl support of the Seahawks...maybe next year. We are Russell Wilson fans here, as well.

      Delete
  2. Your chili looks so good, I love that you added tomatoes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I find we really like tomato-based stews and soups - so much more flavor.

      Delete
  3. Wow, 1st place? I have to make this!!! P.S. Your Super Bowl menu sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. What cut of Beef do you typically buy?

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Alyssa! I usually use a lean stewing cut like chuck or brisket (and remove any fat). The tougher cuts do well with long braising, and the meat breaks down and is almost velvety. I hope you have a marvelous weekend! And wasn't today gorgeous with the (sort of) warm sunshine?

      Delete
  4. I'm always intrigued when I see chocolate in chili. I shall have to give it a go in my vegetarian one some time. Does it make the flavor deeper?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cocoa does add a deeper flavor and I use it my veggie bean chili, too. I definitely recommend adding it - let me know what you think. :)

      Delete
  5. any recommendations on the beer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I usually use a dark one like Guinness. It provides a rich, deep flavor. Hope you enjoy the chili!

      Delete
  6. Great post - I think I am going to make chili this weekend too! I have my own recipe but have never officially documented it. I guess that would have been a good project for the blog this past week but alas, not this year. My favorite version is with chunks of beef marinated in beer, lots of tomatoes, and a few beans too. I may take a cue from this version and just throw it all in a slow-cooker and let it do its thing. Have fun watching and eating on Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beth! I was delighted to see your pic of the chili starting to cook. I'm so happy you enjoyed it! And I hope you share your chili recipe before winter ends (just a little hint...).

      Delete
  7. Hannah I absolutely love the ingredients in this award winning chili. I can certainly understand why it's award winning. Truly drool worthy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karista! I appreciate your kind words.

      Delete
  8. Paul's been looking for a chili recipe. I'll definitely share this with him when he gets home from work. You won't catch me watching the Super Bowl, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy some chili with my Downton Abbey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you did enjoy some chili with Downton Abbey, Lauren! I'll be watching it tonight...

      Delete
  9. Pasted onto evernote, I can't believe I actually have everything for this chili. It sounds terrific and perfect for game day (which will be on until Downton is on). My neighbor just asked me for a good recipe for chili, I'll be forwarding to her also,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I appreciate you sharing the recipe, too. I'm a Downton Abbey fan, as well, and will be watching tonight since we DVR'd it.

      Delete
  10. Oh! I love the addition of the chocolate!! And this is a perfect dish for Superbowl Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! The chocolate definitely deepens the flavor. I use it in my veggie chili, too.

      Delete
  11. I love a good bowl of chili and can see why this chili won an award. It sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen! A bowl of chili provides such warmth and comfort during the winter months, doesn't it?

      Delete
  12. YUM!!! I'm coming over to your house!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Chili sounds perfect, even beyond the superbowl, and it reminds me I need to get a slow cooker. Would love a recommendation for one! And I'll have to save this recipe to try later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, your comment showed up, Orly! My slow cooker is ancient - it's a Rival Crock Pot - and was hidden away in a closet for years. There are some terrific ones available now with programmable timers, the ability to brown meat first and all sorts of good options. Mine is still working well, otherwise I'd be looking! I think a slow cooker is a great investment and hope you find one you like.

      Delete
  14. Your beef chili looks fantastic! I don't have a good chili recipe on hands, and your "award-winning" recipe will be in my folder to give it a try! It's going to be cold and this sounds very comforting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nami! I do hope you enjoy it. A bowl of chili is indeed warm and comforting. And by making this in a crock pot it couldn't be easier!

      Delete
  15. Now that'll be a winter warmer, especially love all the toppings....I think I'd have to have them all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mairi! I always heap lots of toppings on, too.

      Delete