Author Topic: Game-day Chili  (Read 8858 times)

Offline Darren

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Game-day Chili
« on: October 24, 2011, 08:45:16 am »
So obviously this can be made any time...but I called it "Game-day Chili" because I have spent the last two college football seasons attempting to perfect a chili recipe. This is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination yet, but it is getting better.

It finally got to the point where I felt it was ready to be cooked in some cast iron! Here is the result (which is my lunch for the day, by the way...)

This time I used the propane burner for heat. I figure if you want to use coals, use a full spread for the initial browning of the meat and cooking of the vegetables, and go for 350 degrees (12 top, 12 bottom) after that. Since it's technically a soup, a good boil will work just fine.


  • 2 lb center cut pork loin, cubed (the size is your preferance, but I prefer smaller pieces)
  • 1 lb ground pork (optional, omit if looking for healthier chili)
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 31 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 serrano chilis, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 tbsp seasoning salt
  • Spices, to taste*
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for heat!)**
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


Heat a 12 inch dutch oven (full spread of coals, or high propane heat) until starting to get hot. Add the pork loin and brown. Drain and remove.

Repeat this process with the ground pork, if using it.

Heat the vegetable oil until it shimmers. (Omit the oil if there is leftover fat from the meat) Add the garlic and stir until just starting to brown. Add the onions, green pepper, and serrano chilis, and cook until just starting to become soft. Add the meat back into the mix and stir. Add the chili powder, seasoning salt, and any other spices. Stir to coat everything. Let it simmer for 2 minutes or so.

Pour in all of the canned ingredients, and stir. Add the brown sugar and vinegar. Add salt to taste.

At this point, add in as much of the crushed red pepper as you want/can handle.

Put the lid on the oven and bring to a nice boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so. (12 coals top and bottom, or medium heat propane)

Serves 10-12

* For the spices here, it depends on what kind of chili that you are going for. I said "spices to taste," because when I'm making it, I will experiment with some flavors, putting in a few things, and dip a spoon into the bubbling mixture, and taste...and then add a little bit more.

Yes, I use a different spoon.

Here are a few recommendations, based on some good tasting variations:

Version 1:
2 tsp curry
2 bay leaves (fish out before eating)

Version 2:
1 tbsp peanut butter (OK, not a spice, but it was interesting)

Version 2a:
Add 2 squares of bitter baking chocolate or 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Version 2b:
Combine versions 2 and 2a. This was pretty good.

Version 2c:
(Couldn't you just combine the previous two, remove a little of the brown sugar, and throw in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup?)

Version 3:
Forget the tomato sauce, and add 1 16 oz bottle of Thai Chili Sauce. (I like the sweet version) This one will need a bit more boiling to thicken up some, but I REALLY like this taste.

Please add your own versions!

** Red pepper flakes can add a lot of heat.

1/4 tsp - mild
1/2 tsp - you know it's there
1 tsp - spicy
2 tsp - hot

Thank you.
There are two rules of Dutch Oven Cooking:
1) If you cook too much food, share.
2) Cook too much food.