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Peck O' Peppers Chili with Beef {Chili Cookoff}

Two years ago we attended our friends' 4th of July Chili Cook-Off...and my Chili al Diavolo was dubbed 'Grand Champ.' Since we missed last year's event, I'm not the defending champion this year, but I still wanted to make a chili that dazzles.

This chili - Peck O' Peppers Chili - features beer-braised chunks of beef, caramelized onions and shallots, four different kinds of chilis, and a chili beer! Sadly, my plan to use buffalo meat got nixed by my 10-year-old.
This took hours of simmering and thousands of chops, but it was well worth the effort.

1 pound of beef
1 pound of ground beef
1 T minced garlic
1 bottle of beer (I used a summer wheat, with honey and orange, for this part)
1 bottle of Rogue's Chipotle Ale (1 pt+)
2 shots of espresso
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
5 C pureed tomatoes
sea salt
2 fresh poblano chilis
1 fresh Anaheim chili
3 fresh goldspike chilis
1 crushed tepin chili
1 fresh red bell pepper
2 cans of black beans
honey, to taste

Thinly slice the onions and shallots; mince the garlic. Quickly sauté the minced garlic in olive oil. Add beef, thinly sliced, quickly brown to sear the edges then braise in wheat beer for three hours. In a separate pan, caramelize three-quarters of the sliced onions and shallots. Reserve caramelized onions and shallots. Brown the ground beef with the rest of the onions and shallots. Then add the browned beef and caramelized onions and shallots into the pot with the braised beef. Clean, seed, rough chop and add all the fresh chilis. Season with cumin, sea salt, paprika, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Add the chipotle ale, espresso, tomato puree, chopped chilis, and one can of black beans.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for one hour. Add the other can of black beans and simmer for another 30 minutes. If the chili is too bitter, add some honey to sweeten. Let the flavors develop overnight before serving.

I didn't win the big prize this year, but I did take 2nd place. Jake's assessment: "Your chili has subtle, complex flavors, but the one that won had more stuff." Stuff?!? I guess stuff is good.

*Update 1/4/2013: I am linking this recipe to Kate Martinelli's Chili Linky Party.*


  1. Chipotle ale? I will have to look for that.

    Congrats on 2nd prize and condolences for not having enough "stuff" in your chili. Hope you had a good Fourth.

  2. Camilla, it was so wonderful having you and your family here for another cook-off. Your chili was wonderful -- Jeff and I both gave it high marks. Your artfully combined ingredients definitely led to a delicious and complex flavor profile.

  3. Hi there. This week's Food on Friday is all about chillies and other spicy stuff. So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

    PS I am following you now. If you like Carole's Chatter it would be great if you followed me back.

  4. Thanks for linking in. Cheers

    PS And a big thank you for following Carole's Chatter


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