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Old 11-20-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
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Please help me improve my chili

I entered a chili cook-off last year and it was great time! I didn't win but the guy who won voted for mine! LOL

Anyway, I would really like to change my chili a little bit - not really looking for a new recipe but I though maybe you folks could help me improve mine a bit?

My chili is pretty good. I enjoy it and everyone who has tried it seems to like it. I've been making it the same way for years though and I'm sure it could be a lot better.

I got the recipe years ago from a relative and I don't know where they got it so I hope I'm allowed to post it here. If this is not OK please let me know and I'll edit my post.

Here goes:

2 lbs ground beef
1 29oz can tomato sauce
1 29oz can pinto beans with liquid
1 29 can kidney beans with liquid
2 small cans diced green chilis with liquid
1 large onion coursely chopped
2 celery stalks coursely chopped
3 tomatoes diced - outer flesh, no seeds
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water

Brown the ground beef and drain off fat.

mix the kidney beans, pinto beans and liquid in a bowl and remove 1/4 - 1/3 of the mixture and puree it. Put all ingredients into the pot and simmer for 3 hours stirring often.

Thanks in advance for any tips on helping me improve my chili! The cook-off is tomorrow night.


I'm just a Dad who loves food and I live in a house full of fussy eaters... it's a challenge!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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smoked paprika


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Old 11-20-2009, 03:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wyogal View Post
smoked paprika
how much of it? can you describe what it will do to the flavor? Should it be in place of something else or just add it?

I'm just a Dad who loves food and I live in a house full of fussy eaters... it's a challenge!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #4
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depends on your taste, it adds a smoky flavor to your dish. try it out and you'll find out how much you want to use. just add it.

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Old 11-20-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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Have you tried adding a square or two of unsweetened chocolate? It does not make your chili taste chocolaty, but it adds a wonderful depth of flavor.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:06 PM   #6
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Garlic......Ancho Chili Peppers.....Masa Harina.....Beef or Chicken Stock/broth

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Old 11-20-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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I'm sure your style of chili is just fine for your local contest, and it sounds really good (if it had a little less cummin in it - but that's my personal taste), but if you ever decide to get serious about chili cook-offs, none of the winners I have ever seen have beans in them, and I've judged from California to Arkansas, Taos, N.M. and even as a guest judge at Frontier Days in Cheyenne Wyoming one year.

Good luck to you!!! Just relax, meet new people and have fun!
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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Sometimes Ill add some corn Kernels to my chili. Kinda adds a ' pop ' the the texture, doesnt add all that much to the flavor. I may also add a little liquid smoke to give that smokiness, but i like the smoked paprika idea. Ill give that a try too.

Also, sometimes Ill put it in individual dishes ( like those little crocks for onions soup) and Ill bake it in the oven with chedar cheese on top, just until it melts and gets a little crispy
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:46 PM   #9
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I'd add Mexican oregano, garlic and paprika.
I'd reduce the amount of tomato by half.
I'd use chuck roast cut into half inch cubes in place of the ground beef.
If you want to add beans, I'd go with one 29 ounce can of kidneys DRAINED. The finished product should not be soupy.
Consider leaving out the celery.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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I like red beans or pinto beans, not a fan of kidney beans


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