Annual Chili Cook-off

MSP met chilly temperatures with a chili cook-off last week. Chefs from Vero, Shoyu, World Bean, Volante, Mimosa, Minnibar, Mill City Tavern, and TwinBurger vied for the title of Ultimate Chili Champion at the annual, Concourse G event. Six batches of chili were put to the test by passengers and a team of judges. Concoctions ranged from the “Rise and Shine Chili” (loaded with bacon and topped with hollandaise sauce and a hardboiled egg) to the “Pyongyang Chuck” (a Korean-influenced chili thick with beef chuck) to “Chili del Toro” (a Mexican-style chili with a hint of mole sauce).

The winner? Somethin’ Smokin’ Chili by Chef James Keaton of Vero and Volante restaurants. A chili in every sense of the word, it’s heavy on the meat and spice and packs a kick with every bite.

Try your hand at Chef Keaton’s creation:

Somethin’ Smokin’ Chili

One 15 oz. can of pinto beans

One 15 oz. can of kidney beans

1 Fresno pepper, diced

1 lb. ground beef

½ lb. andouille sausage

One 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers, puréed in a blender

½ large yellow onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T chili powder

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. guajillo chili powder

1 tsp. ancho chili powder

2 tsp. smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Sweat the yellow onions in olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes, then add garlic and Fresno pepper. Cook 5 minutes more, then add ground beef and andouille sausage. Brown the meat, then add the remaining ingredients. Let the chili slow cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.