Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Our 23rd attempt: Freak'n Hot Chili

A few weekends ago, we held the annual chili cook-off on the street I grew up on. This year's was the 23rd in a row! When we first moved to the street in 1992, my parents got together with some neighbors and planned a chili cook-off for October... it was a smashing success, and it's been going on every October since then! It's such a fantastic tradition, with the whole thing being more like a block party with a chili cook-off mixed in. I've been helping or cooking chili since I was five years old, and have rarely missed a year at this event (except in college, when there was no way I could get home). I always look forward to it.

Awards from years' past
Basket o' chiles
Michelle and her husband stopped by!
Mama & me
The neighbors all get together, rain or shine, and anyone who wants to can cook chili. There are specific rules (everything must be prepped on-site, no crock pots, cooking starts at 1 PM and judging is at 4 PM... plus more!) and there are awards and prizes for not just the chili, but decorations, themes, and names, too. A lot of chili is eaten, a lot of beer is drank, and a lot of fun is had.

My mom and I cooked together this year, and, although we didn't win, I do think our chili was one of the best (but I'm a little biased...)! We make a pretty good team, even when we're cooking on camp stoves on a gloomy, damp day.

I'm including the recipe we used below. This is one that was originally taken from a cookbook (I think, though I couldn't tell you which one), and has been modified a lot over the years, so it's basically an original. My sister made this awesome sign with our chili name on it, and I think that pretty much says it all...

Freak'n Hot Chili

This chili is HOT! Really. Personally, I like it that way, and really enjoyed this batch. Remember, chili is easy to personalize - if you prefer yours less hot, cut the number of peppers in half. If you like it hotter still, add a few more! The base of this chili is a good one, though, so do what you need to with the peppers.

  • ½ lb bacon 
  • 1 lb ground round 
  • 1 lb ground pork 
  • 2 green bell peppers 
  • 2 small yellow onions 
  • 5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped 
  • 3 habaneros, seeded and chopped 
  • 4 Anaheim chiles, seeded and chopped 
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 3 T cumin 
  • 1 T red pepper flakes 
  • 4 T chipotle powder 
  • 4 T dark chili powder 
  • 4 bouillon cubes 
  • 2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes 
  • 2 16-oz cans diced tomatoes 
  • 1 small can tomato paste 
  • 2 cans chili beans 
  • 2 cans kidney beans 
  • 1 beer 
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream (or Greek yogurt, like I do!), shredded cheddar, crushed tortilla chips, green onion, white onion, etc.
  1. Place bacon in large soup pot. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain excess grease, leaving enough to coat bottom of pot. Remove bacon, drain on paper towels, and chop. (Alternately, could chop before cooking, like I do.)
  2. Brown beef and pork in pot with bacon grease over medium high heat. When meat is browned, stir in bell pepper, onion, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Anaheim peppers, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, bouillon, tomatoes, tomato paste, and beer.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and bacon and continue simmering for another 30 minutes. Serve in bowls with garnish of choice.
I'd love to know if you use our recipe, and if you like it! Any and all feedback is welcome. We love chili in our family and make it all the time, using all different recipes (or non-recipes, at times). What's your favorite way to make it?


Ashley Barnhill said...

I love a good bowl (of not so spicy) chili! I'll be trying this with a few less peppers!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I love your mom's gear! But I like my chili not so spicy!

Anna said...

How fun! I did one with my friends last year during our annual New Year's trip and it was a blast!

Kate @ Like American Honey said...

How fun!! I love you mom's chili apron and hat!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

Your mom's chili apron and hat ensemble is ADORABLE! This looks delicious though! I love my chili to be hearty and full of both meat (wow, that sounds awkward) and LOTS of veggies! I do love to try different chili recipes though, so I might have to test yours out sometime!