Monday, January 16, 2017

First Loser

The annual Providence MANday Night Chili Cookoff has happened. We had about 40 contestants, and about 160 chili eaters (although the only ones that matter are the four judges). My chili was voted second place (first loser). But several dudes have asked me for the recipe, so here it is:

Chad's 2017 "Dark Horse, Runner-Up Chili"

(A "dark horse" is an unlikely winner. There's no horse meat in this chili. I really just wanted a title with the word "dark" in it because of my chili's color.)

• 6.3 lbs ground beef (Have the butcher grind the meat twice, preferably through the "fine" plate. In chili, I like the ground beef small rather than in big chunks.)
• 1 lb. Johnsonville ground Italian sausage (I work hard to get this small too)
• 1/2 tsp tiger seasoning
• 3 jars Tobasco chili starter (2 original medium, 1 spicy)
• 1 can Bush’s black beans
• 1 can red beans
• 2 cans Hanover dark red kidney beans
• 1 can Rotel (with fire-roasted tomatoes)
• 2 cubes Dorot (Trader Joe's) fresh-frozen crushed garlic
• 1 red onion diced
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 cup sherry cooking wine
• 4 heaping tbls light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup real maple syrup
• 1 tbls Texas Pete hot sauce
• 3 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp fresh coarse-ground black pepper
• a healthy dash cumin
• 3 tbls chili powder
• 2 tbls Sriracha hot sauce
• 2 bayleaves

• 10 green Serrano peppers, de-seeded and diced (use rubber gloves)

• 4 red sweet "Capperino" or "Cherry Hot" peppers (they're round, bright red, and about the size of a pingpong ball to a racquet ball) 
de-seeded and diced.

Season with Tiger Seasoning and brown the ground beef & sausage and drain the fat. While browning, I mix with a potato smasher to keep the meat from being chunky. Add all other ingredients (except the peppers and onion). Then dice the onion, and de-seed and dice the peppers. Sauté them in extra virgin olive oil (see picture) until slightly browned/blackened. Add to the rest of the chili.

Add water as needed, bring to a boil, then turn low and simmer for 5 hours (it’s good after just two hours, but if you can simmer longer, it’s worth the time!).

My chili is meaty, sweet, has a little kick, and is full of flavor! Mmmm. I want some now! 

The MANday Night Chili Cookoff is so much fun. It's how we begin each year with a bang. The guys participate in good-humored trash talk and someone goes home with the prize—several coupons for area restaurants, and the coveted trophy (made mostly of car parts). It's so awesome.

Here's this year's winner, Greg Ogle (left), who is now Providence royalty! Congrats! There were many great contestants this year, as always. Some of the guys go to incredible lengths to make grow their peppers, smoke their meat (meats of all kinds, by the way), and cook culinary masterpieces. I think I just got lucky this year!

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