Grandpa's Second-Place Chili
This chili recipe has been a long-time family favorite, passed down from my wife’s grandfather. Though it never won first place in any chili cook-off, it consistently took second place. If you happen to use this recipe and win a cook-off, please let us know!
- 4 lbs ground chuck
- 2 green peppers, diced
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 banana pepper
- 5 packs of Buena Vida chili powder or 1 cup of your favorite chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt, plus extra for sautéing
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 3 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 3 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ounces of beer
- 2 cans of beans, if desired
- Brown the Beef: In a large six-quart Dutch oven, brown the ground chuck. Once browned, remove the beef and place it in a colander over a bowl to drain.
- Sauté Vegetables: Using 3 tablespoons of the reserved beef fat, sauté the diced green peppers and onions with a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes.
- Add Garlic: Add minced garlic to the vegetable mixture and cook for an additional minute.
- Combine Beef and Spices: Return the browned beef to the Dutch oven. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, cardamom, coriander, and 1 tsp salt. Stir to combine.
- Activate Spices: Cook the beef and spice mixture over medium heat for a couple of minutes to enhance the flavors.
- Add Tomatoes and Liquids: Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beer, bay leaves, and banana pepper. Mix thoroughly to integrate all the components.
- Simmer: Cover and let the chili simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Optional Bean Addition: If you like beans in your chili, add two cans along with their juice when you add the tomatoes.
- Final Touch: Before serving, make sure to remove the bay leaves.