My group of friends and I like to get together and cook stuff or create a competition to see who can cook stuff the best. Last weekend it was a chili competition! Chili is something that I never really made before. I think the only kind of chili I’ve had in my life has been my mom’s chili and the canned disgusting kind that goes on Del Taco chili cheese fries. So I made a practice batch a week ago. I mostly followed a recipe from Cooks Illustrated magazine for vegetarian chili, but I added meat to mine. It turned out pretty good… but it just wasn’t a “winning” chili.
So I spent the following week asking around for the best chili recipe. I got a wide variety of ingredient ideas and I put together a chili concoction of my own. I used beef chuck roast, bacon and chorizo (not the healthiest of ingredients, but I had to go all out for flavor with this one!). I personally think the chili that resulted was RIDICULOUSLY delicious. I’ve never had a chili this good before (I wish I made more, because there were no leftovers!).
This is a good, meaty chili with a strong smokey flavor and mild spice.
Now about the competition- There were four chilis made that night: A chili made with andouille sausage and pinto beans, chili with ground beef and pork, chili made with beer and coffee, and then my chili. They were all SO good. It was hard for everyone to judge which was the best as they all had different and amazing flavors.
Without further adieu, I give you Tessa’s chili:
Tessa’s Homemade Chili
- 1/2 Pound beef chuck roast, cut into small square chunks
- 6 Slices of bacon
- 1/2 Pound pork chorizo
- 1 White onion
- 1 Red bell pepper
- 2 Jalepenos
- 2 Serrano peppers
- 6 White mushrooms
- 4 Clove garlic
- 1 28 Ounce can of stewed tomatoes
- 1 Can black beans, drained
- 1 Can pinto beans, drained
- 1 Can red kidney beans, drained
- 2 Dried whole mexican chilis
- 2 Dried whole ancho chilis
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 2 Tablespoons oregano
- Olive oil
- Ground peppercorn
- 2 Frying pans, 1 large pot, and a food processor
- Start by cooking the meats: in one pan cook the bacon until just before it’s crispy, brown the of the beef chunks in another pan on high heat (don’t cook all the way, just until all sides are brown), and cook the chorizo in the large pot you plan to cook the chili in.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. lay the 4 diced peppers on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven for about 8 minutes. They should turn a darker color and become crispy. Once finished, set them aside to cool.
- While the meats are cooking, you can cut up the veggies: dice the onion, jalapeno and red pepper.
- Once the meats are finished, set aside the beef, bacon and chorizo on a plate. In the large pot, add a little olive oil if needed and saute the onions, red pepper and jalepeno, until the onions are glazed and start to brown.
- While the veggies are cooking, make the seasonings: Take the tops of the roasted dried peppers and shake them until the seeds fall out. Put the now seeded peppers in a food processor along with the oregano. Pulse until finely ground.
- Add the ground pepper and oregano to the large pot with the veggies and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Next add the meat you set aside from before and stir. Add in the cumin and ground pepper.
- Now to the food processor, add the can of stewed tomatoes (do not drain), the peeled garlic, mushrooms, and the serrano peppers (with the stems cut off). Pulse until it becomes a sauce.
- Add the tomato sauce mixture to the pot with the meat and veggies.
- Stir in the 3 cans of drained beans.
- Bring the chili to a simmer then reduce the heat to super low and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve it up hot along with some corn bread or over french fries. This would go great with my pumpkin cornbread!
In the end, the party hosts with the won the bragging rights of being named the best chili. Others were described as “good chili for chili dogs.” My chili was described as the kind of hearty chili that you eat by itself in a large bowl with cheese (my kind of chili).
What are your favorite chili ingredients? I am interested to hear!