This time last year, I was celebrating my award-winning chili. Yes, you read that right, this chili recipe is a winner. I am the 2012 Woman’s Day Magazine National Chili Cook-Off winner in the Best Beef Chili Category.
Being a winner of a national cooking competition is a lot of fun. I got to appear in an issue of Woman’s Day magazine, on a local morning news show and had several newspaper interviews. It was such a highlight for me. Finally, my food was validated in a public way. I had always thought my cooking was good, but to have it deemed a winner by such a reputable publication was simply amazing.
With the weather so cold, a good chili recipe is an essential piece of any good recipe collection. In addition to its unique flavor combination of three meats, three beans and three peppers, it also has the right amount of heat making it warm up in your mouth, but not in an over-the-top spicy sort of way.
I make my chili on those cold Sunday afternoons. We lounge around in our comfy clothes, wrap ourselves in our favorite blankets and dish up a nice serving of chili for our dinner. I love to serve this along-side some warm flour tortillas or crusty chunks of bread.
The cooking process takes a bit of time, but is certainly worth the investment. Afterall, this is award-winning chili. You can’t rush greatness.
- 5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 lb beef-chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-in pieces
- 8 oz. of hot italian sausage (about 2 links), casings removed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalepeno, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp picked jalepeno juice
- 1 chile de arbol pepper, crushed
- 1 15-oz pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 15-oz black beans
- 1 15-oz red kidney beans, rinsed
- 3 cups water
- Shredded cheese, sliced avocado, radishes and tortillas for serving (optional)
- 1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp (5-6 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate
- 2. Add the beef to the pan and cook until browned 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a second plate and set aside. Pour off any liquid and return the plan to medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the plate with the beef.
- 3. Wipe out the pan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalepeno and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are just tender, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- 4. Add the crushed tomatoes, Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, jalepeno juice, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and 3 cups of water and bring to boil. Return the beef and sausage to the pan, add the chile de arbol and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
- 5. Add the beans and reserved bacon and simmer, uncovered until thickened 45-55 minutes more. Serve with optional cheese, avocado, radishes and tortillas.
If you give this a try, let me know what you think. I most certainly think it’s a winner!