Making a mean chili is serious business. There are chili contests to be won! This is the time of year where chili contests abound and everyone wants to claim the coveted prize. If you want a prize-winning chili, I have a winner for you! This MJ's Award-Winning Beef Chili is no joke. I can't guarantee you will take home the big prize but I can guarantee that you will LOVE this chili. Thank you BUSH’s slow-simmered chili beans and Hunt’s vine-ripened tomatoes for sponsoring this post.
There are all kinds of theories out there as to what kind of chili reigns supreme. Beans or no beans? I always go with beans. It makes the chili hearty and filling. Ground beef or chuck roast beef? I love both of them and use them both in my chili recipes (Texas Sized Chili Bar). This MJ's Award-Winning Chili uses chuck roast because it becomes so tender when braised slowly. It's downright heavenly!
The key to making a perfect chili is the combination of flavors from the tender beef, seasoned BUSH's chili beans, Hunt's fire-roasted diced tomatoes, broth, and warm spices. It is all about layers upon layers of flavors. I like to cook my chili low and slow -- either in a dutch oven pot or in a slow cooker. This ensures that the flavors come together in the ultimate pot of chili.
I have a little secret ingredient up my sleeve in my chili recipes and that is Dr. Pepper! You can use Coke as well but it is a match made in heaven with beef and helps to tenderize it so it just melts in your mouth.
So what spices do you use to make this killer MJ's Award-Winning Beef Chili? The numero uno spice to use is chili powder. This is what gives it that earthy depth of flavor and mild spice. You can use a traditional chili powder, an ancho chili powder, or even a New Mexico chili powder. There are many choices! I love to use half traditional chili powder and half ancho chili powder. Cumin is another powerhouse spice as it gives a lot of bang for the buck...a little bit goes a long way. A touch of cayenne pepper gives it a little kick. A pinch of cinnamon brings in some warmth.
This MJ's Award-Winning Chili calls for chuck roast, cut into bite-size pieces. I am a huge fan of chuck roast as it has enough fat on it to make it tender without it being too much. It has such amazing texture. The key is to brown the beef. Why is it important to do this extra step? Well, it brings out the flavor in the meat. I sauté it in a little bit of oil to give it a nice brown crust. I sauté the beef with some chopped onion to elevate the flavors.
A combination of sautéed onions and peppers is vital to developing flavors in the chili. I love using diced onions, jalapenos, and a red pepper. You can even throw in a poblano pepper for a mild heat.
Beans are one important component in chili, in my opinion. I always reach for BUSH's chili beans because they make it so easy for me. Their chili beans are covered in a mild chili sauce, which makes the beans taste even better. I like to use a combination of chili beans -- pinto, kidney, and white. It keeps people on their toes and makes things interesting!
I am throwing in an option for you. Many people swear by adding masa, which is corn flour, into their chili. It acts as a thickening agent and adds richness to the chili. If you don't have masa, you can use 1 cup of cheddar or pepper jack cheese to give the chili a little creaminess.
The toppings are essential! Some of my favorite chili toppings are shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, green onions, tortilla strips, and even jalapeno if you like to keep things spicy. I love to put out a toppings bar like this one -- Texas Sized Chili Bar. This is so fun for parties!
This MJ's Award-Winning Beef Chili can be made on the stovetop or in a slow cooker/crockpot. The key is low and slow with the beef so a slow cooker works like a charm. Always add your beans more at the end of cooking time though. They just need some time to heat up.
I can't wait to hear about your success with making this award-winning chili recipe! Come say "hi" on Instagram @modern_honey. I would love to hear from you!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BUSH’s slow-simmered chili beans and Hunt’s vine ripened tomatoes.