Sunday, October 02, 2005

The TallBrad Chilifest 2005

Last night was Tall Brad's third(?) annual Chilifest. Several dozen people and about a dozen chilis. Our family entry this year (M3 Chili) took third for the third year in the row (last year was a tie for second, but it was TallBrad's house and he tied with Pooteewheet, so he should get the benefit of the doubt. Note that it wasn't the same chili as last year - we submit something new each year). I've posted the recipe at the bottom, as well as the recipe for one of the other test chilis we tried that we decided was just a little too spicy for a Minnesota chili contest. None of our chilis have beans, and though I pretend to subscribe to the Texas chili school that disdains beans, tomotoes and hamburger in chili -- all the things Minnesotans insist make a chili, well, chili -- I am really just a member of the "I hate beans" chili school. This puts a real dent in my ability to judge a Minnesotan chilifest as there are generally only two to three chilis without beans and one of them is always mine. Try the ones listed below, however, and don't stint on the 2-3 hours of simmering, and if you like good, spicy, chili, you'll be very pleased.

The sampling of the chilis (that's Kung Fu chili in the foreground - beans, but navigable if you want to avoid them, and very good). There's another room full of chilis and the ambient temperature inside is about 96 degrees with all those crockpots running - hence all the people outside that you can't see.

Christy "Two Fist" sampling what must be a very funny chili.

TallKevin with his one of his personal bottles of Moose Drool.

Various guests - Julie and Logan to the right.

Erik, Christy and Eryn relaxing in the backyard.

Lisa, Christy and Squirrel gossiping about who had the biggest bowl of chili. Not shown is Lisa's face with the big bruise under her eye that she got while dancing and slamming heads with her dance partner.

Logan and Eryn relaxing. This is after we cleaned up Eryn's chiliface.

Kevin decides that the best way to get a fire to stay alive after several tries is to conduct it, like Bugs Bunny in that cartoon where he's chased by Elmer Fudd. In this picture, Eryn would be Elmer Fudd as she was skulking behind his chair later trying to scare him.

Is this how you make a smore? With a metal stick that gets incredibly hot when held in the fire?

Jen took this picture shortly after asking Kevin if he was drinking a Moose Drool, or if he was just happy to see her.

Eryn decides that it's time to be all done.

On to the recipes:

This was what was submitted as M3 Chili this year...

3 pounds Stewing beef, cubed
1 pound Chorizo(Spanish sausage)
2 Large onions, diced
5 Cloves garlic, minced
3 Jalapeno pepper, peel and diced (peeling isn't absolutely necessary by the way)
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne
3 tablespoons Chili powder
3 cans Tomato sauce (15-oz each)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cup Water
1 can beer (we used an essenced homebrew I made a few years ago - basically a beer that had been infused with Emeril's mixture of spices, the ones he's always yelling "bam" about. If you need more liquid because you want it thinner or to boil/simmer long, more beer works fine).

Brown the meat, garlic, onions and jalapenos in the olive oil. While it's browning, add the cayenne and the chili powder. Add tomato sauce, salt, water and beer. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes (stir frequently). Uncover and simmer for 2 hours. Serves 6 (fewer if they're big, hungry guys).

The other chili we tried that was delicious, but too hot to use, and actually too expensive for a chilifest if you're on a budget and want to do it right by using sirloin, was the following one we found on line. We cut the recipe in thirds and used all sirloin.

Blue's Own Texas-style Chili Recipe by Stephen "Blue" Heaslip

7 lbs beef, trimmed and cut into 1inch to 2 inch cubes (they will break up during cooking) -- your choice of cut -- I like some amount of sirloin in there myself, but stewing beef works more than fine [Scooter's note: Sirloin is soooo good in this recipie.]
7 cups beef broth (4 14-1/2 oz cans)
3/4 cup olive oil
15 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
3/4 cup flour
1 bottle beer (we used a little more than recommended - the chili cooks down, so if you worry about cooking it down too much before it has a chance to really tenderize the meat, you might want a bit more liquid).
3 oz tequila -- if of legal age (1.5 for chili, 1.5 for drinking)
4-1/2 oz 3 oz blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons cumin
1/3 cup chili powder (to taste)
1 dash ginger
1 tspn white pepper - can be left out if you don't like it
1 dash nutmeg
1 tspn salt
1 tspn ground black pepper
1 tspn cayenne pepper
5 oz sliced fresh hot jalapeno peppers.
For the six-alarm version, also add a similar quantity (5 oz.) of sliced habanero peppers, be fugu fish careful when handling them. [Scooter's note: I suggest this, it makes it much better].

Place beef in a large pot in the olive oil and cook low heat until browned. Add 3 oz tequila and stir -- if using the legal age variant, drink the other 1-1/2 oz tequila. Stir in garlic. Slowly add a mixture of the flour and chili powder, stirring constantly to blend in evenly. Add beer... stir. Add molasses... stir. Add cumin and oregano by rubbing them between the palms of your hands... stir. Add peppers and remaining spices... stir. Add all but one can (all but approx. 2 cups) beef broth, stirring. Bring to a slow boil for a 1/2 hour or so, stirring often, then lower heat and simmer for a while, stirring occasionally. Do not be worried if it sticks a bit to the bottom of the pan, just make sure to scrape those parts up when stirring (a wooden spoon is good for this)... those bits add flavor. At some point a couple of hours into the simmering when it's cooked away a good bit of broth, remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature, then place in fridge for a few hours until cold (if you are in a hurry, this step can be skipped, but I think it helps - [Scooter's note: hell no, eat it fresh, it's delicious and you won't want to wait - we were eating the test batch at 10 p.m. because we couldn't resist it]). Anytime within the next 12 hours after chilled, resume cooking over low heat. When nearly at chili-like consistency, add the remaining beef broth. Cook until at proper chili consistency again, and serve with rice [Scooter's note: the rice is optional, you can also serve it over beans if you like beans, or eat it plain].

Originally found at


BiggTree said...

Regarding recipe number 1: Four(4) pounds of meat serves six(6) or fewer? Maybe you should serve some corn bread with it. It looks yummy though, and not so hot that my wife won't try it.

Scooter said...

I was going from a bit of experience wherein the nibbling of the chili started at say minute 0, and didn't end until minute 300 after it was pronounced complete. There was a tendency of those involved to actually go back for a third bowl.