It’s only appropriate to post the first of this year’s annual chili contest on the day Mr. Prevention and I (I look puffy and pregnant!) had the pleasuring of attending a football game at our beloved alma mater, the University of Illinois.
Not only did we attend, but we won (!!) — something the Illini tend to do verrrrry inconsistently.
And not only a win, but a beautiful day on campus….even if it did require a 2 mile round-trip waddle to and from the car — no small feat for a woman closing in on 30 days from go time.
When a song would come on between plays, Mr. Prevention and I would reminisce. Some of the songs were game day classics. Some were played on rotation at our favorite campus bar hangouts. And Get Low was a song that I vividly remember being way too popular my freshmen year of college…
Mr. Prevention then lovingly referenced for me that that was 11 years ago and I was suddenly very thankful that we weren’t sitting in the drunken student section of the stadium.
With the perfect weather and the win, there were plenty of tailgates to walk through on our way back to the car. There were smells of fireworks, beer, charcoal, and chili in the air. I mean, what’s more football Saturday perfect than that? I’m sure loyal tailgaters are just like me in that they can enjoy chili each and every weekend (beer, too…duh). There’s so many ways to make chili and this first entry was unique…and spicy!
Meat lovers and heat lovers, this one is for you! The 3/4 CUP of chili powder is not a typo and if you dare, go for the entire 2 teaspoons of cayenne…I double dog dare you Kidding. It will be spicy, very spicy, but good. Very good. This thick, hearty chili was great and I enjoyed it most over a blank canvas baked potato. This year’s contest is off to a great start!
- 2 lbs ground sirloin
- 2 lbs stew beef cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¾ cup chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dehydrated onions
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1½)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 3 cups water
- ⅛ cup masa
- Brown ground beef and stew meat in a large skillet; drain any drippings. Transfer beef to a large pot and stir in all ingredients except the masa. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 1½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Combine masa and ¼ cup water and stir into chili. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
No weekly menu because my good friend and replacement for my maternity leave, Donna, will be with me all week at home and work, learning the ropes. It’s exciting stuff and making it sure seem real that I’m going to be off work for 12 weeks as a new mama coming up very quickly here!