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October 6, 2013

BBQ My Way: Judging a chili cook-off

I am pumped. I will be one of eight official chili judges this coming weekend for the Louisville Fire Department "Great Louisville Fire Drill." I'm told we get special aprons and badges, and we get to eat more chili than any human should encounter in one day.

Ummm. I'm in!

The competitors should rest easy knowing that I am a judge a not a competitor. Below is my award-winning chili recipe. Actually, it's more like my wife's. Give it a try.

The Chili Recipe

  • 1 tbs. of butter
  • 1 tbs. of olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, hopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeds removed (DON'T RUB YOUR EYES!)
  • 3 lbs. of ground beef
  • 2 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz. can of tomatoes with chili peppers
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 15-oz. can of brooks hot chili beans
  • 1 15-oz. can of Brooks Mild Beans
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1 lb. of smoked pulled pork
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of chili powder
  • 8 oz. of your favorite beer (secret Ingredient)
  • 2 ounces of Hershey’s chocolate (secret ingredient)

Melt butter into the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and jalapeño over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent, and then remove the mix from the pot.

Add 1 tbs of olive oil back to the pot. Brown the beef and drain the fat. Then, add back your vegetable mix and all of the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate. Simmer with lid off for 3 to 4 hours, occasionally stirring. Then, add the chocolate.

A red wine holds up will against these rich flavors, such as a Shiraz, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. In terms of a beer, I would suggest a pilsner to cut through the richness and spiciness of the chili.

Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes the "BBQ My Way" column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQ-My-Way.com.

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