My best chili recipe has evolved over the years for sure, and this post is the best of all of them. After all, who doesn’t love a great bowl of warm, spicy chili on a Fall evening? Especially when it has all the right fixings…grated cheese, white onion, sour cream, scallions, cilantro, sliced jalapenos… And of course some warm cornbread on the side with butter and honey makes the whole thing that much better.
Several years ago, the company I worked for ran a chili contest. My friends and colleagues convinced me to enter, and this recipe won me the top award, and I continue to make it time and time again.
While you can definitely make and serve this recipe right away, it’s far better if you can let it cook on a slow simmer for at least an hour, and even better if allowed to sit overnight in the fridge and then reheated the next day. The flavors meld together beautifully when allowed to sit together longer.
Whit’s Award Winning Chili (8 servings)
2 large yellow onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lb ground beef
1.5 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chile powder (I use my own blend…see my post on how to make it!)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
4 dried New Mexican or California chiles, soaked for 30 minutes in 4 cups of hot water
1 small can tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
3 cans pinquito beans (or use pinto if you can’t find pinquito)
2 cups beef broth
1 cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes (use some or all, as you like):
grated cheddar cheese
diced white onion
sliced jalapeño peppers
In a large pot, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute or until you smell the garlic. Add the ground meats and filet mignon and cook until the ground meats are no longer pink and the filet is lightly browned. Add the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, chile powder, and cayenne (if using). Mix well and allow to cook 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the stems and seeds from the soaked dried chiles, and puree in a blender with 1 cup of the soaking water until smooth (reserve the remaining soaking liquid). Add to the pot with meats and onions. Stir in tomato paste and sugar until blended and bring to a simmer. Add tomatoes with their juice, the beans and the beef broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook, partially covered, for 45 minutes, stirring often. Add more of the chile soaking liquid to thin the chili if needed. Stir in the cilantro, taste and adjust seasonings as needed with salt, pepper, cayenne and chile powder.
Serve in individual bowls with garnishes on top, and extra garnishes on the table. Enjoy!