The Chili Cook-Off Winner!

As most of you might know, we host a Chili Cook-Off every February.  This year was our 8th year!  We had 5 brave people bring out their tastiest chilis to be judged by a crowd of about 35 people.  Ultimately, the winner (by a landslide) was Jason and Moey Wu with their Smoky Beef Chili with Corn and Black Beans.

This was the widest margin of victory we’ve ever had here, so clearly this is an excellent chili recipe. I hope you enjoy making it for your family and friends.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 onions, chopped fine
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2- inch pieces
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 pounds, 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans tomato puree
  • 4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1. Heat oil in 12-quart stockpot over medium heat until simmering.  Add onions, bell peppers, garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin, coriander, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened (about 15 minutes).

2. Increase heat to medium-high.  Stir in beef, 1 pound at a time, and cook while breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 3 minutes per pound.  Stir in beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato puree and bring to boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

3. Uncover and continue to simmer stirring occasionally, until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened, about 1 & 1/2 hours longer. (If chili begins to stick to bottom of pot at any time stir in 1/2 cup of water.  This is also the point at which you can stop the cooking and refrigerate it if you want to make it ahead. It can rest in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve heat the chili gently up to simmering and then continue on to step 4.)

4. Stir in corn and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt to taste and serve.  Serve with lime wedges, fresh diced tomato, diced avocado, sliced green onion, minced cilantro, sour cream, and/or Monterey Jack cheese.

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