Rachael recently attended a huge church teen event that had a Chili Cook-Off, and she informed me that not only did I need to make chili more often, but I needed to try making different kinds of chili.
Fair enough. I’d been making the same type of chili for at least five years now, so it was time to try something new.
I discovered that Jamie Deen (one of Paula Deen’s sons, of course) has a very popular award-winning chili recipe. And his cookbook Jamie Deen’s Good Food: Cooking Up a Storm with Delicious, Family-Friendly Recipes, has some really great reviews on Amazon, including ones calling it “normal food for normal families” and “delicious and didn’t have me searching all over town for obscure and expensive ingredients!”
Need to Freeze Your Chili?
One of the great things about chili is that you can make extra (and this recipe makes a lot!) and freeze some or all of in portion sizes for future meals. One of the things I like to do is wake up one morning about a month later, dump the frozen leftovers into the crockpot, and turn it on low. Pretty easy way to make dinner, huh?
The only problem is that packing up and storing those leftovers can be kind of a pain. Big Tupperware-like containers take up too much space in the freezer (and I’ve even had some crack from the cold temperature). Freezer bags work better, but getting the chili into the bag is usually a two-person job that ultimately makes a mess no matter how I do it.
That’s why I was excited to find these really cool plastic racks for filling storage bags.
It makes the job much easier — and a whole lot less messy! You fasten the freezer bag under the clips, which makes the bag “stand up” and stay open so you can easily pour your chili in.
And if you like to clean and re-use your baggies, it also doubles as a drying rack!
And now presenting …
Jamie Deen’s Award-Winning Chili Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
8 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
One 4-ounce can tomato paste
One 12-ounce bottle beer
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the onions and peppers and saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute until just fragrant.
Stir in the beef and sausage, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about 6 minutes.
✅ I found this unique tool at Williams-Sonoma that looks like it would do a great job of breaking up meat while you cook it. I haven’t bought it –yet! — but it sure looks clever and handy!
Drain the beef mixture through a colander. Add it back to the Dutch oven and stir in the chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Stir the tomato paste into the beef mixture; this will “toast” it and give the chili more flavor.
Add the beer and stir up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a simmer, and then add the diced tomatoes and beans.
Simmer on medium-low for 2 hours, stirring on occasion to keep the bottom from sticking.
We topped it with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos. Rebecca made mini corn muffins on the side.
We also like to make rice to go with our chili. For one thing, my oldest daughter Rachael loves rice and will eat an entire bowl by itself and call it a meal. Plus I like the fact that it’s an inexpensive way to make stretch the chili out and make it last longer.
I use the Aroma 8-cup rice cooker, which I wrote a review of in this post. One thing that’s nice about the rice cooker is that it has a delay timer, so you can set up your rice, and then begin making the chili and forget all about the rice, knowing it will ready when you need it.
Almost everyone agreed that this was better than my usual chili. The one exception was my middle daughter Rebecca. However, Rebecca dislikes sausage (for some crazy reason), so that could be why. I’m sure one could easily substitute the sausage for more ground beef, or even ground turkey, if they wanted to.
Are you taking this chili to a cook-off event?
✅ Read my post about How to Host an Amazing Chili Cook-Off