Award Winning Chili

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chili may not be the most glamorous of dinner foods, but it sure is hard to get just right.  Ever since I was married 16 years ago I've been on the hunt for the perfect chili recipe.  I've read articles, bought strange ingredients, asked friends for recipes, and have invariably always ended up disappointed.  It would be too spicy, or too wimpy, or too unpredictable, or too runny, or whatever.  I may be picky, but I don't think I've ever made the same chili recipe more than twice.  

Our church has a chili cook-off every year and four out of the last 7 or 8 have been won by Bruce Nielson with the same recipe.  I have asked him for the recipe several times over the years in hopes of adopting it as my own, but he has been a zealous defender of his title of Chili King and would never even give hints on how to make it, let alone actually share the recipe....until now.  

Our church congregation is doing a cookbook and he decided that due to its historical importance in our congregation's gustatory legacy that he would finally share it.  The cookbook isn't due out for a while yet, but I have managed to secure my own advance copy of the infamous recipe and he has given me permission to share it with the rest of the world!  I've made it three times now and it's the same exact chili every time---perfectly seasoned, slightly smoky, hearty, and totally delicious.    Enjoy!    
Click here for printable recipe

The ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. pork smoked sausage (They look like a pack of little wienies--see ingredient picture above)
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 can (14-oz) sliced stewed tomatoes
1 (1.75-oz.) envelope of chili seasoning
1 cup water
2 cups ketchup
1 can (16-oz.) cut green beans, drained
1 can (7-oz.) diced green chilies
1 can (15-oz.) kidney beans, drained
2 cans (15-oz. each) pinto beans, drained
Garnishments:  Sour cream, shredded cheese, crackers

In large skillet, brown beef and smoked sausages with onion.
Drain off drippings.  Add garlic cloves, pepper, jalapeno, salt, stewed tomatoes, chili mix, and one cup water.  Simmer 15 minutes.  While tomato/meat mixture is simmering, combine beans, chilies, green beans, and ketchup into a large stock pot (or crock pot).  Add the tomato/meat mixture to the beans/ketchup mixture in the large pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring frequently.  Serves 8-9.
Top each serving with  sour cream and/or shredded cheese.  Enjoy!


Arlene Delloro December 2, 2009 at 7:21 PM  

I'm not a big fan of chili, but my SO is and he loves those lil' smokies. I will have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous,  December 2, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

My boys and hubbie love those smoked sausages, so I'll have to give this a try!

Lyndas recipe box December 3, 2009 at 12:03 AM  

My family loves chili; this one does sound like a winner!

Jessie December 3, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

I love those little smokies I bet they are great in Chili. That looks so yummy!!!

MaRiN December 3, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do. I've been MIA for so long and I've missed some awesome recipes of yours! I posted chili too, although yours looks much more exciting than mine!

teresa December 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

oh yum! this looks award winning to me!

Katy ~ December 3, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

Oh for heaven's sake, I would have imagined a long and exotic list of ingredients and here you have found a fab chili with easily accessible, straightforward ingredients. Well done!! Thanks to the Chili King for sharing his secrets.

My Little Space December 3, 2009 at 8:03 PM  

I would love this to coverup my connie dog! absolutely yum... Am I weird or what? hehe... Happy holiday to you & your family. Have fun! Cheers.

Kim December 4, 2009 at 11:54 PM  

This sounds like one to try! I've never though of using those little sausage, but I bet my husband would love it. I'm glad you were able to get the recipe and share it :D

alexandra February 23, 2010 at 7:02 AM  

I went to the Nielson's blog to find the recipe this morning and started panicking when I couldn't. Once again, you (and your blog) have saved the day!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life July 30, 2010 at 2:47 AM  

Now I'm hungry for chili and it isn't even winter but it is almost 1:00 am. I won't be dashing to the kitchen but this does look yoummy.

Yolanda November 8, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

Tell Bruce THANK YOU! I can't wait to try it.

Jen May 5, 2011 at 2:15 PM  

Thanks for posting this recipe. I got 2nd place in my work chili cook off with this recipe. I was SO close to first!!

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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