Superbowl 2011 Chili Showdown Update, aka The Great Chili Upset

Well kids, the results are in and it ain’t pretty.  Let me start off by saying that maybe I had a bit too much gravitas in my last post describing the cookoff. I didn’t come in first and I didn’t get the silver or bronze either. As a matter of fact, I came in 7th (out of 8). Disappointing, but I wasn’t surprised. I went big, and thought I had the right flavors, but luck would have it I pulled a total amateur move and burned the chili. I tried everything to save it; peanut butter, vinegar, transfer to a new pot, sugar, etc.  But when it’s burnt, it’s burnt  and I should have tossed it!  I am super sensitive to bitter burnt flavors and aromas after a recent mishap at a restaurant where they served me two burnt lamb shanks (I sent the first back). No one else thought my chili tasted burnt, but apparently they didn’t think it tasted good either. I should have come in last in my opinion. #8 just needed a bit more salt and it would have crushed mine.

Lets hear it for Alex who not only won the contest, but he also gets to choose the challenge for next year’s superbowl. Enclosed is his recipe and the picture of his chili (at the top) he took with his cell phone. See, you don’t need buko bucks to take nice pictures.

I’ll post my recipe separately another day when the sting of defeat has dulled a bit.  I’ll also include a recipe for Gina’s ‘ritas.  Gina’a maragaritas knocked us on our ass!

We had a whopping 8 people submitting chili this year, which totally overloaded the stove and we needed to get creative in order to keep ’em all hot.

Lookit the full house, there were 2 more that we heated in the nuker too! Clockwise from top left: Gina’s, Andy’s, Nick’s, Joe’s, Al’s and Frank’s.  Not shown, the winner: Alex’s, and Jon’s

Ingredients for Alex’s Winning Superbowl Chili

Serves 4-6
  • 3 dried guajillo peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 4 garlic gloves
  • 1 chopped jalapeño stemmed and seeded
  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes & 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can dark kidney beans & 1 can beans with chilies
  • 1 tablespoon sugar & 1 disc of “Taza” guajillo chili chocolate (
  • 1 can of Tekate beer
  • 1 tablespoon of sauce from canned chipotle chilies
  • Queso Fresco for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


  • In a small dry skillet over low heat add the guajillo peppers, oregano paprika, coriander, cumin, and chili powder.
  • Cook until they begin to smell, about 2 minutes.
  • Put the spices into a food processor and grind until they are powdered. Set aside.
  • Heat a large heavy bottomed casserole, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the onions and garlic and jalapeño pepper. Remove from casserole, set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil and cook the meat seasoned with salt and pepper until it has browned on all sides.
  • Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño sofrito.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of the toasted spice mix and stir well.
  • Add 2 cans of tomatoes.
  • Add the 2 cups of beef broth and the can of beer.
  • Add sauce from canned chipotle chilies.
  • Grind the chocolate disk in food processor.
  • Return to boil and add the chocolate, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 hours adding the beans at the last hour.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with queso fresco and cilantro.

Everyone put up a good showing, so thanks to all the competitors.  Hopefully Alex will think of something fun for next year so we can get everyone competing again.  What a blast!