Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Chili Taste-Off Results

Bill Hutchinson a long-time supporter of Faces without Places and current Treasurer of the Board of Trustees lost his winning title of "Chili Champ" this past Sunday at the
3rd Annual Chili Taste-Off. Last year, Bill's Spicy Beef Chili won Spice of Life and this year David Lynch claimed the title with his chili, Fire Walk with Me. David also took the title of Most Votes. Other winners include, Jeni Jenkins' JJ's 3 Pepper Veg Head, winning Outside the Box, and Elissa Sonnenberg winning Best of the Best with Use Your Noodle.

Since Bill's chili did not win this year, and will not be competing in next year's Taste-Off, he decided to share his secret recipe with us.

Bill’s Spicy Beef Chili
(serves 6-8)


2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2lbs. chuck steak chopped into small pieces

Kosher salt (to taste)

Fresh pepper (to taste)

1 lbs. hot Italian sausage casing removed casing, break into one inch pieces

1 large white onion chopped

6 garlic cloves minced

1 tbsp. chili power

1tbsp. sweet paprika

2 tbsp. ground cumin

28oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup water

15oz can pinto beans (drained, not rinsed)

15oz. can cannellini beans (drained, not rinsed)

15oz. can kidney beans (drained, not rinsed)


Brown chuck steak and hot Italian sausage (separately)

Drain fat from meat

In a large pot heat vegetable oil, cook onion until translucent (approximately 5 minutes)

Add garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes

Add spices

Add chuck and sausage

Add tomateoes (undrained) and water

Simmer for 1 hour

Stir in beans stir in beans & simmer uncovered until thickened (15 minutes)

Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, & cilantro


David also shared his winning recipe with us, explaining that his chili-making process is more of an art than a science!

David's Fire Walk With Me (will make approximately 8 quarts)

1 1/2lbs ground beef

1 1/2ilbs ground pork

8-10 cans of beans of your choice (David likes to use Kroger brand chili hot beans, great northern beans, and a three-bean blend.)

8 oz tomato paste

2-3 12oz cans crushed or diced tomatoes

2-3 large shallots, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 bulb garlic, roasted

1 each of anaheim, poblano, and serrano peppers, roasted, skin removed, de-veined & de-seeded, diced

1 12oz beer

The Spice Mix: this is highly variable and these are estimates. David usually uses at least a cup of spices total for this size batch, and it always seems like too much—but never is.

The mix is probably 4 parts chili powder, 2 parts sea or kosher salt, and 1 part each of the following: granulated garlic, cumin, cinnamon, onion powder, sugar, hot Hungarian paprika, dried basil, white pepper, and black pepper. (David usually toasts the cumin in a hot pan beforehand).


Put a large pot on stove and bring it to medium heat. (David uses a circulon pot and it keeps the chili from burning to the bottom).

Add the meat and brown (David alternates adding pork and beef, and forms it into little lumps 3/4" around because he likes bigger chunks of meat in the final product).

Once all the meat is browned in the pot, add a little fennel seed, salt, sugar, and crushed red pepper as it browns.

When it's approximately 90% done browning, drain off the excess fat, add the vegetables, and cook until the onion is translucent.

Then, add the spice mix and a beer, and allow it to cook for approximately 20 minutes.

Next, add the crushed or diced tomatoes. Let that cook for a while, then add the tomato paste.

After that, add all the beans pretty quickly after the tomato paste.

At this point, taste chili to see if more spices are needed, David usually decides it needs more chili powder and adds more.

Cook for an additional two hours.

Be sure to look for updates for the 4th Annual Chili Taste-Off next December!

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