Sneaky Hot Chili Recipe

This week, I won the chili cookoff at my workplace. It’s a minor victory, but I’m a competitive person so winning is better than the alternative. I learned a lot through this experience.

Chili means different things to different people. for some, it’s celery and carrots and vegetables. Others take a very bean-y approach. Some are a tomato concoction, much like the traditional chili my Mom used to make. Years back, the stress of working at a high-powered PR firm gave me the beginnings of an ulcer, and I moved away from eating tomatoes. I found some beef-based chili recipes that packed some heat but didn’t have all the acid. A few weeks ago, I added chorizo to create more of a meat sauce, which led to this Sneaky Hot Chili Recipe.



1 large Sweet Onion, chopped

3 Serrano Peppers, sliced

3 Cloves, chopped Garlic

2 tbs. Fresh Cilantro, chopped

¼ tsp Coriander

2 tsp. Cumin

4 tsp. Oregano

1 tsp. Red Pepper

1 tbs. Brown Sugar

¼ cup Corn Starch

1 tbs. Salt

2 tsp. Black Pepper

30 oz. Beef Broth

1 lb. Steak, top round beef, diced

20 oz. Pork Chorizo

3 cans Chili Beans (or red kidney beans)

Dice the steak. Brown in a skillet, and set aside. Saute the chorizo, and set aside with the beef. Chop the sweet onion. Slice the serrano peppers thinly. Heat skillet to medium high. Brown the onions and peppers. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic. Add cumin, oregano and red pepper. Add cilantro, coriander. Transfer the spice mixture to a crock pot (Setting: High). Add beef and chorizo. In a mixing bowl or measuring cup, stir corn starch into ½ cup of the room temperature beef broth. Stir the remainder of the beef broth in the crock pot. Sprinkle in salt and black pepper, stirring. When the liquid is hot, stir in the brown sugar. Pour in the corn starch mixture. Finally, add the beans with liquid from 2 cans. Drain the third can and add it. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat and continue cooking on low for 2 hours. Season to taste with more red pepper or salt.

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