Learning to prepare competition beef chili was a fun cooking experience. A couple years back my friend Sue asked me to enter a chili cook off with her. My experience with beef chili growing up consisted of that pre-packed envelope of chili spices that you added to ground beef. Growning up in a very Mexican environment, I always saw chili as a more American dish and something that I really came to love when I moved to Texas. I will never forget when I tasted my first frito chili pie at Deady Jr. High in Houston, Texas. Wow! I was hooked! The debate is still out on where the frito chili pie first originated, bit I am just happy to have discovered it no matter who invented it. There are many rules and regulations when it comes to preparing competition chili. Most often a typical Texas Red style chili recipe is prepared with no fillers. When I say fillers, I mean no beans, macaroni or other type of fillers. It’s most often straight beef with dry spices, beef broth or bouillon. For today’s recipe I tried to stay true to the “cook-off” style chili to test out the flavors as compared to the homestyle chili I usually prepared with fresh onions, garlic and diced tomatoes. I did use some tomato product, green chiles and beans at the end since we would be enjoying this chili at home. I was happy with the results and would definitely prepare it this way again. Although we did not place for our tasty version of competition chili, I did bring home a trophy for 1st place in the salsa competion! Lol! That’s a whole other blog post…#confessionsofachilehead
1 1/2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 pounds ground chuck or chuck roast, sliced small
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 ounces tomato paste
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
1 packet Goya beef bouillon granules (enough for 2 cups of water)
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoon dark chili powder
2 tablespoons light chili powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 ounce Mexican chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground jalapeño
1 teaspoon Goya beef bouillon powder
2 cups water
1/4 cup masa harina mixed with 1/3 cup water
1 large Anaheim or poblano pepper, remove seeds and stems and dice finely.
*if you like, you could roast the pepper before adding, but I did not
15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
Check for chili spices, maybe add in another 1/2 tablespoon of each…cumin…check for salt
This is as simple as it gets!
1. In a large dutch oven style pot, preheat the oil to medium high heat until just before smoking. Add the beef and season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon granulated garlic. Stir fry until meat is nicely seared and somewhat charred in some spots. I start light with the seasonings because you will season as you go.
2. Once the meat is nice and seared, add all of the ingredients listed for the First Dump. I know it makes me laugh everytime I read that, but it makes sense in the world of chili cook off competitions. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and taste for salt. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring as needed. You really want the raw flavors of of the tomato products to cook out and deepen the flavors.
3. When ready, add all of the ingredients listed for the Second Dump. Repeat by stirring well to combine, bringing up to a simmer, tasting for salt. In a small bowl, whisk the masa harina with 1/2 cup of water and stir into the chili until well incorporated. Add in the green chile and drained beans. Continue cooking for another 35 to 40 minutes, stirring as needed.
4. Now once you reach the Third Dump, this is where you can make the recipe your own by adjusting the spice levels to your taste. I usually end up adding a little more of each spice, minus the salt and a couple dashes of hot sauce. Simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes. Yields up to 8 servings.