Friends of ours started a chili cook-off tradition in the Fall. It is extremely well thought out and executed. There’s a floating trophy award and a gift for the 1st prize and then there’s a People’s Choice prize for the 2nd winner. The first prize is usually decided by a team of judges picked by the host. It’s always heaps of fun, this was their 6th Annual Chili Cook-Off. It can get quite competitive with an array of chilis to sample, together with cornbread for dipping and excellent desserts as the hostess is quite the baker! There’s usually a roaring fire outdoors, with children and dogs running around and having a good time. What a wonderful way to embrace the Fall weather. We have since started a Curry Cook-Off tradition as a result, usually during the bleakest winter months which can sometimes be in February or March.
I decided on a slow cooker entry with Italian sausage, ground beef, chili beans and a whole load of vegetables and spice.
Slow Cooker Chili
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 3 (15oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon bacon bits
- 4 cubes beef bouillon
- 1/2 cup beer
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 (8ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
- corn chips (optional)
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground beef and sausage into the hot pan and cook evenly till browned. Drain off excess grease.
- Pour the above in a slow cooker, add the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for 6 hours. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.
Until the next time, do try the recipe, no I did not win a prize for my entry this time, but I did win the Peoples’ Choice one year. 🙂