I’ve never made home-made chili. Actually, I’ve never really thought about making chili before. Except a chicken chili- I’ve had some really good chicken chili and want to learn how to make that, but our fridge is full of elk steak and I need to focus on recipes to use THAT up, instead of chicken!

Jim came home from work one day last week and said that a guy on the radio says he has an award-winning chili recipe and he’ll post it on his blog for anyone to try. Jim was curious about how it and asked me to find the recipe so we could make it.

It took two separate trips to the store to get all the ingredients. I had most of the ingredients, but there were a few things I didn’t normally stock in my spice cupboard: Turmeric, Coriander, Spicy Thai Chili. I picked up those items, plus the red pepper and cannellini beans, but couldn’t find the particular wine it called for.   I looked online and said to substitute “dry sherry”, which I didn’t have either (and apparently regular cooking sherry wouldn’t work).  We didn’t use lamb or beef, we just used cubed elk steak.  And we made it sans wine.

It ended up being a two-day process, mostly because we got such a late start. I was also short on chili-powder, so dumped in what I had, which was 2/3 of what the recipe called for, I thought that would be OK. But after simmering for a few hours, a taste check determined that something was out of balance. This wasn’t “chili” by any American standards. This was more like a Middle-Eastern Spicy Stew! It almost had a curry flavor to it! Hmmmmm…..

I rounded up the remaining chili powder and added it and that definitely made the difference. Still not a normal chili, but definitely lost a lot of that Middle-Eastern flair.

Here’s a link to the recipe and if you want to try it, I certainly have some Turmeric and Spicy Thai Chili to spare!

Swag’s Award-Winning Chili Recipe

1.5 pounds ground beef
1.0 pound ground lamb
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 large red bell pepper chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans tomato sauce
½ cup Madeira Wine
5 cloves garlic minced

5 tbsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic salt
1.5 tbsp Spicy Thai chili sauce

1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garlic powder

Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped scallions

In large pot mix beans, one can tomato sauce, chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin and garlic salt. Set heat to low and cover.

In large skillet sauté onion and pepper in olive oil over medium high heat until onion is translucent (about 5-7 minutes)

Add onion and pepper to bean mixture, stir and cover.

In same skillet brown the ground beef adding salt and pepper to taste. Drain off fat and add to pot.

Season ground lamb with turmeric, coriander and garlic powder. Brown ground lamb, drain and add to chili pot.
Stir in second can of tomato sauce, Madeira wine and minced garlic. Once mixed add Thai chili sauce and stir again.

Let simmer half hour on low heat and recheck seasonings for balance.

Once cooked through serve with grated cheddar cheese and chopped scallions.