Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winner Winner Chili Dinner

 Yesterday our office held its second annual chili cook-off.

As contenders arrived at the start of the workday, they plugged in their respective chili-laden crock pots and simmered their concoctions all morning.

I participated, of course, with a three-meat, two-bean chili that had won last year's first prize: "the golden spoon of victory," which is nothing more than bragging rights.  I had to bring it back to see if it could hold its own.  There was much less trash-talking, and since I helped organize it this year, imagine my embarrassment when I counted the votes to reveal:

Yep, still a first place winner.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of the accomplishment.  It was just sort of anti-climactic to announce my own win.  So I had Ken, our IT guy do it.

[booming announcer voice] BEHOLD! THE GOLDEN SPOON OF VICTORYYYYY!

Aaaaand I signed it again this year to commemorate my fantastic chili.

Here's the recipe with the latest tweaks:


1 lb bacon, diced
2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
2 lbs pork roast, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
1 cup mole sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
3 cups stock of your choice, divided
2 med sweet yellow onions, chopped
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper + more to taste
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 14-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 14-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


Cook bacon in large soup pot, and remove meat to a bowl, reserving bacon grease on the side.
Use small amounts of bacon grease to brown your meat (in batches so as not to crowd the pan) and dump them into your slow cooker with juices and all as you go.
Set the slow cooker on low, stir the mole, kosher salt, brown sugar, and 1-1/2 cups stock in with your meat and cook for 4 hrs.
Meanwhile, return the rest of the grease to your pot and cook your onion, anaheim pepper, and garlic until onion is translucent.
Add your ground spices and simmer a few more minutes to bring out their flavor.
Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups stock, tomatoes, cooked bacon, and 1 can of each kind of beans, and bring to a boil.
Using a hand/stick blender, puree everything in pot.  If you don't have a hand blender, wait for the chili to cool a little and do it in batches in your food processor.
add in your remaining beans, the fish sauce, and apple cider vinegar, stir and add meat after it has slow cooked for an appropriate amount of time.
Refrigerate over night.
The next day, reheat chili slowly, and taste before you tweak.

Serves an army.

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