by Chris Brady
Event Manager and True Raider Fan
A while back, I was in a fantasy football league with some buddies I met online. It was a friendly group full of banter and smack talk, and, of course, with money on the line we also got super competitive.
One year, one of our founding members wasn’t sure he would be able to come up with the entry fee because he and his wife had a newborn who was suffering with costly complications. He proposed to the league that instead of cash, he could wager some sports memorabilia, gift cards, and his secret chili recipe. We put it to a vote. Even though his “memorabilia” was an autographed John Elway football—which was an insult to a true Raiders fan like me—we decided to let him enter.
Long story short, I won the league that year. Naturally, I sold the John Elway football to get that abomination out of my house, but the chili recipe stayed, and I have made it several times a year ever since. The chili always gets rave reviews, and my wife’s family specifically requests it whenever we get together.
Working at Culinary Crafts, sometimes I’m able to use left-over short ribs or flank steak for my chili, but you can get great results with almost any cut, even a simple pack of Costco USDA Choice.
When people ask for my secret ingredient, I tell them it’s the amber beer, but really, there’s another ingredient that only I can taste: the sweet, sweet taste of victory!
- ⅓ cup of olive oil
- 5 pounds of stew meat
- 2 pounds of pork sausage
- 3 large onions chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 5-6 large dried New Mexico chilies (You can get these pods at Macey’s or Smiths)
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 can of tomato soup
- 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 T of dried cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp of black pepper
- 2 tsp of salt
- 13 oz of beef broth
- 36 oz of good amber beer, divided (I use Fat Tire, but Wasatch's Evo, Epic's Cross Fever, or another local amber will work well.)
- 1 shot of Jack Daniels whiskey (High West Distillery in Park City also makes some excellent whiskeys you can use.)
- 34 oz of beans (optional - I use dark kidney beans)
- Cut the meat into ½ to ¼ inch pieces.
- Rehydrate the chilis in 12 oz of beer. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 min. Strain, and then puree the chilis. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over med heat for 5 min. Uncover, bring the heat to high, and brown for another 5 min. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 min until fragrant. Add the cumin and the pork. Stir until the meat browns.
- Add the beef, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Brown until most of the redness is gone. Add the chili puree, 24 oz beer, Jack, beef broth, tomato paste, tomato soup and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1½ hours until it has a chili-like consistency. Then add beans and cook for another ½ hour.
- Garnish with green onion and cheese.
(Note: For max flavor, cook a day ahead and let the flavors come together overnight in the fridge. Reheat and enjoy some great chili.)