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Award Winning Chili Recipe

boston_stokerboston_stoker Posts: 794
edited 9:26AM in EggHead Forum

I know what you are thinking, what does a Yankee know about making chili? I am a Red Sox fan, so I am certainly no Yankee. And I grew up in Houston, Texas, so I know about good chili. This is a Texas-style chili, which means it has no beans.

This recipe I used multiple years in a row to win the Houston office (1,000+ consultants) chili cook-off, which is held to celebrate the Houston Rodeo.

It is fairly mild, but very flavorful. Mild by Texan standards, a lot of New Englanders think it is their upper limit of heat. If you like spicier chili, there are some directions to kick it up as well. In my opinion, making it a lot hotter detracts a lot from the flavor. Also, adding beans detracts from it as well.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp diced garlic in jar
1 medium sized sweet onion chopped (½ cup, 1 cup, or whole onion I usually use at least 1 cup)
2 lbs ground chuck or ground turkey (venison is best)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 14 oz can of beef broth (or maybe even a little bigger in case chili gets too thick)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes and juice
2 fresh jalapenos with seeds(this is where I play with the heat. I use one for extra mild. Sometimes, I will exclude the seeds to make it mild too. Alternatively, I will use more or even use serranos to kick it up a notch)
1 beef bouillon cube
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 cups of water
2 cups of bloody mary mix/spicy v8/tomato juice (spicy v8 is best/easiest because you can get small size and has a bit of flavor)
1 tsp of Tobasco
1½ tsp cumin seed
2 Tbsp chili powder
2½ tsp onion powder
1½ tsp garlic powder
1 packet Sazon Goya con cilantro y tomate·(usually found in Mexican food aisle of a U.S. supermarket)
1 packet Sazon Goya con culantro y achiote
1 packet Sazon Goya Picante -- Hot
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika

Put 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet and fry chopped onion and garlic for awhile. Add meat to skillet with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Cook until meat is browned. Drain fat from frying pan and add contents to large pot.

Add to pot:
• 1 can of beef broth
• 1 can of tomato sauce
• 1 can of whole tomatoes and juice (cut tomatoes in half or quarters, so they can dissolve)
• 2 jalapenos cut in half lengthwise (remove stem; remove seeds from one of the two)
• 1 beef bouillon cube
• 1 chicken bouillon cube
• 1 cup of water
• 1 cup of Bloody Mary mix/spicy v8/tomato juice (preferably tomato juice)
• 1 packet Sazon Goya con cilantro y tomate·(usually found in Mexican food aisle of a U.S. supermarket)

Bring above to a boil on high heat, then stir in:
• 1½ tsp cumin seed
• 1 Tbsp chili powder
• 2 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 packet Sazon Goya con culantro y achiote
• 1 tsp of Tobasco

After 3 minutes, reduce heat to low/medium and let simmer (it should still bubble a good amount) for about an hour, then stir in:
• 1 tsp oregano
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 1 Tbsp chili powder
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
• 1 packet Sazon Goya Picante -- Hot
• 1 cup of water

Simmer for about 30 minutes, then stir:
• 1½ tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp paprika

Simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir and add additional seasoning to taste. If your chili gets to thick simply add water, tomato juice, spicy V8, Bloody Mary mix, or beef broth. Add more liquid carefully, it is hard to re-thicken. Note, the peppers and tomatoes should more or less have disintegrated when done. If it does get watery, just let it simmer to boil off the water. Also, after removing it from the heat, it will thicken some as it cools.

You can garnish with cheese, raw onions, sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips.


  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    May we call you the "Chili King"?
  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,159
    Looks like a great TX style chili. How is the "gravy" or
    sauce? I know that in the TX chili cook offs the judges tend to complain if there isn't enough sauce or what they call gravy. I have won a couple and that is when I make my own chili powder.

    I am going to have to try yours because it looks great!
  • MtnBlueMtnBlue Posts: 109
    Thanks for the recipe. I've been looking for a new way to make chili.

    Just to clarify - you add the cumin seed whole and not crushed? I don't think I've seen it used that way before.
  • Yup, whole cumin seed.
  • MtnBlueMtnBlue Posts: 109
    Thanks! I'll give it a try.
  • The gravy is not your typical smooth and clean gravy that is sometimes considered desirable. The gravy has levels of flavor built in to it. For the competition, we use cubed whole chunks of venison. And since what is served to the judges is so small, we just make sure that what we give to the judges gravy-wise is clean. We also used ground cumin a few years to help keep it clean. That is just not my preference.

    Personally, I think the gravy standard is dumb. A colleague of mine was sure to make us follow it, which is good because it is part of why we won. In general, the onions, tomatoes, and jalepenos melt into the gravy. However, if you don't cut the tomatoes enough they may not entirely. Also, for a competition, I would remove the seeds from the pepper. Generally there are a few pieces of jalepeno that stay in tact if you don't chop them. The onions melt as well, but if you don't chop them enough they can be noticeable as well. But all of these are tweaks for competition, and not necessary for some good chili. The gravy is just as good taste wise without making sure it is smooth and clean.
  • PopsiclePopsicle Posts: 520
    Great looking recipe. Never thought about using v8 etc. for part of the liquid base. Do you cook multiple pots for competition or just go with the one pot? How much chili does this receipt make? Thanks.
    Willis Tx.
  • I have played with multiple pots and have never really noticed a discernible difference. That being said, I have never done a one pot version and a multiple pots version simultaneously. I generally cook the meat in a frying pan, drain the grease, dump the meat in a big pot, and then use that pot for everything. I have also tried cooking the meat first in the big pot, but to be honest it is just a pain so I don't.

    This makes about 6 hearty servings (meaning you won't need seconds). It may make up to 8, the 2 lbs of beef is a guideline. I just get a pack of meat about that size, but when it is bigger I end up with an extra serving or so.
  • BigABigA Posts: 1,157
    Well as the recipe may be good, i must say chili with no beans isn't chili! it is soup :laugh: :laugh: :)
    i may have to try it though. :)
  • MtnBlueMtnBlue Posts: 109
    You know you can throw in some beans when no one is looking! That's what I'm going to do. :whistle:
  • BigABigA Posts: 1,157
    thats what i will do too :laugh:
  • I did 2 pots of the Eggfest chilli from the new big cookbook. On the first one I used chuck and on the 2nd one I used 1/2 chuck & 1/2 hot sausage. They were both yummy! :P

    I used hickory smoke instead of pecan too
  • jemrxjemrx Posts: 81
    Thanks for this post. This will definetly be on my to do list.
  • PopsiclePopsicle Posts: 520
    BigA, where I come from the old saying goes, “you stop cooking chili when you start adding beans”.
    Willis Tx.
  • MikeeMikee Posts: 831
    Damm recipe was too long. I got dizzy reading it.
  • That's ok. Just go get yourself a can of Hormel.
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