Just like football, a chili cookoff is 62% mental, 22% physical and 13% intensity and 1% creativity.
When the Calgary Foodbank
and Homes by Avi
asked me to go head to head against Stampeders running back Rob Cote
in the fundraiser Be a Fan, Bring a Can Chili Cookoff
, I knew I’d have to give it 110% to earn the votes for the win.
Sure it’s all about raising awareness and getting donations for the food bank, but a good old chili cookoff stirs up the carnal competitive juices.
The extensive Swerve Magazine readership was a guaranteed vote for this awesome chili, but the gameplan was to win over the football fans voting for Rob’s chili.
This version of chili con carne will make football fans (and other omnivores) go fanatical. It’s action packed with loads of meat, beer and a couple of tactical secret ingredients. Like traditional chili con carne (and according to top tier Texas chili champs), there isn’t a single bean in sight. It’s all chili, no filli.
The secret ingredients for this recipe are smoked bones and cocoa powder. The cocoa adds a nice savouriness and the smoked bones add a fantastic subtle smokiness plus it’s really impressive to haul out a bone while you’re dishing up. People go absolutely primitive for it these bones!
You can bet this chili will be a winner at your next tailgate party or backyard barbecue.
2 pounds Hoven Farms ground beef
1 Spolumbo chorizo, uncased
2 bottles of Wild Rose Brown Ale
2 Second to None smoked beef bones
2 sweet pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic heads of garlic, finely sliced
3 Tbsp flour
¼ cup of cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
salt to taste
vegetable oil as needed
Take your time!
Dedicate your time to carefully browning and cooking each element of this chili and you will have an amazingly rich dark brown chili full of great flavour.
Preheat your oven to a blistering 500˚ F and put a roasting pan in the oven to get blazing hot.
Get one medium pot over high heat and filler up with beer and bones. Let them bubble away and reduce while you make the rest of the chili.
Get a large pot on high heat and let it get hot for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable oil, wait 10 seconds til the oil's hot. Add the diced onions, jalapenos and sweet peppers. When the peppers are softened add the sugar and garlic. Cook until they start to caramelise. Drop the temperature and let them cook down nice and slow while you tend to the meat.
By now the oven and the roasting pan will be blazing hot. Get the pan out of the oven, cover it liberally with vegetable oil and start putting little chunks of beef in the pan. Leave some space between the chunks of beef so it can brown nicely. The beef should be sizzling when it hits the pan. Blap it back in the oven and roast the heck out of it until it gets absolutely fantastically brown. Take it out of the oven and transfer the beef into the large pot with the peppers and onions.
Now use the same roasting pan to brown the chorizo.
When the chorizo is done sprinkle it with the flour and cocoa powder, transfer it directly into the large pot with the onions, peppers and beef. Pour the reduced beer into the large pot with the bones and all. Add 2 cups of water.
Bring the whole mess to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for a couple hours. Now's the time to season to taste with salt.
Serve it hot with sour cream and a good squeeze of lime. Goes great with a frosty mug of celebratory brown ale.
Big thanks for all the ingredient donations from Hoven Farms
(ground beef), Spolumbo’s
(chorizo), Second to None Meats
(smoked bones) and the Calgary Farmer’s Market
(veggies) and Homes by Avi and the Foodbank for all the in-betweens. Special-super-big-thanks to Matador Pizza & Steak House
for letting us muck about in their kitchen early on a Saturday morning.