Winner, 2014 Willowsford Chili Cook-Off
For the Short Ribs
- 4 lbs’ beef short ribs (look for the ones with the most meat)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2+ cans of Corona light
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 2 bay leaves
Brown the beef: Make sure the meat is dry, and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 3 Tablespoons canola oil in a dutch oven or stockpot to medium-high. You may have to use 2 separate pots. When the oil is heated, add the short ribs and sear them on all sides for 5 minutes per side.
Add flavor and braise: Remove seared short ribs from pot and add red onion. Reduce heat to low-medium. Season with Kosher salt and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add beer and stir, loosening up any brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Add mexican oregano and bay leaves, and return short ribs to the pot. Make sure the short ribs are almost completely submerged by the beer and add more if you need to.
Bring pot to a boil, then turn down heat to maintain a simmer. Cover with lid and simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is fork tender and slides easily off the bone. Remove short ribs from pan and let cool, and then shred the meat with your fingers, removing as much fat as possible.
For the Chili
- 6 poblano peppers whole
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 3 medium red onions, diced
- 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lb+ lean ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile powder, regular chile powder, Mexican oregano
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 bottle of Corona light
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 x 15 oz fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 x 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 x 6 oz can tomato paste
- 3 x 15 oz cans of beans – 1 each of black, pinto and kidney
Roast the poblano peppers: Turn on your oven broiler to low. Put the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle them with canola oil and season with Kosher salt. Place baking sheet on top rack in your oven and let peppers broil, about 7 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Make sure you get them fully black & blistered on all sides. Remove from oven, put them in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. This will loosen the skin. Peel off the skin and ditch the seeds (unless you want ridiculously spicy chili). Chop into 1/2″ pieces.
Saute the veggies and beef: While poblanos are roasting, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Once hot, add red bell peppers, red onions, and jalapeños, and season generously with Kosher salt. Saute until the vegetables are softened, usually 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef, stirring and breaking it down into bite-sized pieces as it cooks. Season with Kosher salt.
Bring it all together: Once the ground beef is browned, add in all the spices (garlic powder, onion powder, chile powders, cocoa powder, Mexican oregano, black pepper, and cumin), stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add beer, chicken stock, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and beans. Stir and season with Kosher salt. Bring chili to almost a boil, then turn down heat to maintain a simmer and let cook for as long as possible, at least 3 hours. Add in the diced roasted poblano peppers and shredded braised short rib meat once they are done cooking.
Best bet is to cook the chili in the morning, let it simmer for 4-5 hours, then shut off the heat for a couple of hours. You can even put the pot outside if it’s cold. Then an hour before it’s time to heat, put it back on the stove and re-heat.