How to Win a Chili Cook-Off

Or perhaps I should say, “How to tie for first place in a chili cook-off.” It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This is the second year that I have entered into a chili cook-off, which is hosted by my classically trained culinary friend. She’s all together a sneaky jezebel:

“Oh, is that a 15 pound pork shoulder that you have been slow cooking in your green egg for five long days? Yes.”

“Are you really placing a quality over-easy egg atop your steaming chili? Yes.”

“Are you really going around giving all the judges shoulder rubs paired with warm whispers of compliment? Yes. HUSSY!”

Last year, she CHEATED into winning over my lovely white chili, which I will post soon as it’s a crowd pleaser. So this year, I decided to go back to the basics and swoop in dark-knight style. I found a STELLAR recipe on my AllRecipe app on my iPad. It has 2,742 reviews of five stars. I’m not too proud to admit it… I used that recipe with very little changes! Whoever MIGHTYPURDUE22 is deserves serious kudos.

My advice to the chili cook-off contestants? Don’t underestimate PRESENTATION. Nevermind the fact that all the chili-cook off attendees now know that I have enough time on my hands to painstakingly hollow out rolls to create pretty little bowls. It’s worth it. Don’t judge.

The bacon is always an awesome touch. Bake your bacon (Aeeyyoo!) at 350 until it’s browned and to your desired crispiness. Place it on top next to some cheese and sour cream. BOOM.

Here is the link to the original recipe.

  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo
  • 3 15 oz. cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can chili bean in spicy sauce
  • 2 28 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 healthy T bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 C chilli powder
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 2 t Tabasco
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1 t cayenne (I added more cayenne for some kick)
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t white sugar

In a large pot, brown all meat together and drain the excess fat. Add all other ingredients together and simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust your salt, pepper, cayenne and chili powder to your liking. Remember, the longer it cooks, the better it tastes. And it’s even better as a left over! You should also try to serve it Cincinnati style over noodles. It’s Wehrly Good.

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