Posted by Justin_Vanning A little over a week ago, we were flying high here at the Mozplex. Our beloved Seahawks were in the 2nd round of the playoffs, and we were basking in the aromas and tastes of over 20 different chili’s during our 1st annual Moz Chili Cook-off. Fast forward a week. Our eyes are still red from the tears we shed during that heartbreaking Seahawks loss, but our bellies are still warm from all the chili we ate. Because all of the chili entries were so tantalizingly-delicious, it just didn’t feel right to keep them all to ourselves. We figured some of you might want to try out our winning recipes for your tailgate or Super Bowl parties, or share your own favorite chili recipes in the comments. An outline of the competition and the top chili recpies are listed in detail below. Happy chili-ing! The Cook-off For the 1st annual Moz Chili Cook-off, 20 Mozzers brought in their best batches of chili to be judged by their peers. Each participating Mozzer got a bowl, a spoon, some cornbread to clear their palate in between taste tests, and a score sheet to judge the chili on the following criteria: Best overall chili Best meat chili Best vegetarian chili Best spicy chili Best named chili Best use of creative ingredients The competition was fierce, with the title of “Moz Chili Master” and a custom-made Roger chili trophy on the line. The games began, and after all the chilis had been tasted, it was time for the scores to be tallied. The winners in each category were: Best overall chili David Joslin Justin Vanning (yours truly) Chris Auty Best meat chili David Joslin Justin Vanning Thomas McElroy Best vegetarian chili Elizabeth Crouch (Note: Although quite delicious, this entry won by default as there was only one in its category.) Best named chili : “Two Faced Diablo” by Courtney Davis “Uncle Slap-Jim’s Big Backwards Hoedown Surprise Chili Shack Party #1″ by Joel Day “Chili Con Carnage” by Justin Vanning Best spicy chili : Courtney Davis Justin Vanning David Joslin Best creative use of ingredients : Tofu and Chinese chili ingredients – Fay Hou Coconut milk and Thai-inspired ingredients – Miranda Rensch Whisky, beer, and cinnamon – Justin Vanning Although listing every winning recipe was tempting, we decided to just list the top three overall picks, along with our winning veggie concoction. Enjoy! 1st Place Overall – David J’s Smoldering Chili David Joslin basking in the title of “Moz Chili Master,” along with his snazzy Roger trophy. Ingredients 2 lbs smoked beef briskeet with s&p rub 2 lbs smoked pork butt with s&p rub 2 lbs 80/20 ground beef 2 onions 1 green bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 1 chipotle chile in adobo, finely chopped 2 dates 1 roasted, pealed, and seeded pablano pepper 1 roasted, pealed, and seeded california pepper 1 roasted, pealed, and seeded jalapeño pepper 4 cans fire roasted tomatoes 2 cans tomato paste 1 large beer 2 cups beef broth 2 Tbs worcestershire 2 Tbs tamari 2 shots espresso 1 tsp chipotle tabasco 1 Tbs Better Than Bouillon or beef base 4 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 2 Tbs cumin 6 Tbs chili powder 4 Tbs gebhards chili powder 1 Tbs pasilla chili powder 1 Tbs ancho chili powder 2 dried chili pablano ground 2 dried chili New Mexico ground 3 dried chili arbol ground 2 tsp smoked paprika 1 Tbs sweet paprika 1 Tbs oregano 1 tsp basil 1 Tbs turbinado sugar 1 tsp fenugreek 2 Tbs roasted tomato flakes 3 Tbs masa 1 cup chicken broth 2 cans black beans 2 cans red kidney beans 4 cups chicken broth 1/2 tsp cayenne 1/2 tsp white pepper 1/2 tsp chipotle chile Directions The night before (at least), smoke the brisket and the butt for 12 hours at 225 degrees, after rubbing with pepper and salt. Foil the brisket after six hours. If you don’t want to go the gonzo-smoked meat route, you could just use two lbs of beef chuck and two lbs of pork shoulder in a 3/8″ dice, and add 2-3 Tbs liquid smoke. Dice all the veggies and sauté in oil for 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain the fat. I used a turkey baster. Blacken the fresh pepper on the BBQ or over a burner flame. Bag for 5 minutes, peal, seed, and chop. Add the canned tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir well and cook for five minutes. Chop all the meat in to a rough 3/8 dice. Exclude as much fat as you can. Add to the pot as you go. Add the wet ingredients, down to the garlic powder. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the dry ingredients down to the masa. Ground celery seed can be substituted for the fenugreek and the roasted tomato flakes can be substituted with chopped dried tomatoes. Cook 1.5-2 hours. Stir now and then and add chicken stock if it gets too thick or starts to burn. Now start tasting. Here is where I added additional chili powders and pepper until the heat was balanced across the entire palette. Once you are happy with the flavor, add the drained and rinsed beans and cook for 30 minutes. Taste again. Salt will most certainly be needed. If any adjustments besides salt are required, make the changes and cook for 20 mins longer. Consume! 2nd Place Overall – Justin’s Chili Con Carnage Ingredients 2 lbs beef chuck roast, cubed 1 lb ground chuck or organic ground beef – can use ground turkey or buffalo 1 lb boneless pork chops, cubed 1 lb chorizo (I used veal chorizo from whole foods) 2 Tbs Worcestershire 2 sweet or purple onions finely chopped 2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped 3 jalapeño peppers seeded and finely chopped 1 pablano pepper seeded and finely chopped 1 serano pepper seeded and finely chopped 1 can chopped green chilies 2 cans diced tomatoes 2 cans crushed tomatoes 1 large can tomato paste 1 cup chili sauce (Heinz or something else) 3 Tbs chili powder – add more to taste 1 Tbs cayenne pepper – add more if you like it spicy 3 Tbs minced garlic 1-2 Tbs ground cumin 2 tsp salt – more to taste 2 tsp ground black pepper 3 bottles of beer – I usually use Budweiser or Coors 2-3 shots of whisky 2 cans beef broth 1 tsp cinnamon 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 2 cans sweet corn, drained 2-4 cups beef broth – add during cooking Directions In a large skillet, brown your meat and pork. Drain the fat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook till veggies are tender. Transfer to large stock pot and add all the other ingredients except the corn, beans and tomato paste. Cook for 6-8 hours at a medium simmer (just below a boil) to burn off liquid. If it gets too thick or starts to burn, add beef broth. In the last hour or so, add your corn, beans and tomato paste. You can cook/simmer this for longer than 8 hours if you want to make it even thicker. 3rd Place Overall – Chris Auty’s Chili Ingredients 2 Tbs olive oil 10 ounces ground buffalo 10 ounces ground turkey 1 small onion diced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 2 14-ounce cans stewed tomatoes 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce Pinch of baking soda 1 16-ounce can of dark red kidney beans, drained 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 tsp chili powder 1 small green bell pepper ribbed, seeded, and diced Directions Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the meat and onions until browned; season with salt and pepper. Put the mixture in the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and a splash of water. Stir in the baking soda; the mixture will foam. After 5 minutes, stir the kidney beans, brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Cover with lid and cook on low for four hours. Add the bell pepper during the last hour of cooking. Adjust the seasoning and/or add corn starch to thicken if needed before serving. Best Vegetarian Chili – Elizabeth’s “What do you mean, there’s no meat in this?” Chili Ingredients 3 Tbs EVOO 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 jalapeño, diced 1 large carrot, diced 10-oz frozen or canned corn 1 small can diced Hatch chilies 1 package Field Roast Veggie Sausage (I prefer the Mexican Chipotle or Italian Sausage), crumbled 2 10-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed 1 10-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed 1 10-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 15-oz can and 1 10-oz can chunky tomato sauce 1 Tbs cinnamon 2 tbsp cocoa Sea salt to taste Cayenne pepper to taste Chili powder to taste (I use a ton) Cumin to taste (I use a ton) 3 tbsp apple cider or coconut vinegar Directions Sauté garlic, onions, carrots, jalapeño, and peppers in olive oil on medium-high heat until the onions begin to turn translucent and “sweat.” Add crumbled veggie sausage, thoroughly mix with veggies. When the carrots are tender (but before the onions get too soggy), mix in the Hatch chilies, vinegar, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa. Stir. Add the tomato sauce, then 15 oz of cold water to the pot. As the mixture returns to a cheerful boil, add the chili powder and cayenne. Once a boil is achieved, add all the beans and corn, return to a boil. Add cumin, then reduce to a simmer. The longer it simmers, the better. Seriously. Enjoy! So there you have it, folks! Hopefully these chili recipes will fill your hearts and tummies with as much love as they did for the Mozzers. If you have any great chili recipes or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments! Sign up for The Moz Top 10 , a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!
Results of Our 1st Annual Moz Chili Cook-off