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In Forest Glen, chili heats up

Thanks to first-place winner Johanna Lovvorn, we have some new chili recipes to try. With a cold week ahead, capped off by the Super Bowl on Sunday, it seemed like a good time to share.

Lovvorn won first place in the first-ever Chili Cook Off at the Forest Glen neighborhood clubhouse. She wrote that 10 serious competitors submitted 11 chilis  for tasting and judging by all who  attended.

Contest entries were varied and included vegetarian, chicken and venison chili, in addition to traditional beef chili. Four winners were announced once tastings were complete and all of the votes were cast.

Third prize ended in a tie and went to Gary Graham and Devin Phipps for their beef and beef and sausage chili. Second prize went to Adam Baird for his venison chili and first prize went to Lovvorn, who entered an Italian beef, chicken and turkey chili.

Italian Chili   

1 pound sweet Italian sausage (I use turkey), casings removed

1 pound hot Italian sausage (turkey), casings removed

¼ cup grape seed or olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

6 cloves of garlic

1 pound ground beef, lean

1 package frozen soy crumbles

2 of each: red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped

2 jalapeños, diced (I remove most of the seeds)

2 35-ounce cans Italian whole peeled plum tomatoes

1 35-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 cup red wine (Cabernet or blend seems to work best)

6 Tbsp. best quality chili powder

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Tbsp. ground cumin

2 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 1/2 Tbsp. dried basil

2 tsp. salt

3/4 Tbsp. fennel seeds

2 tsp. ground pepper

1/3 cup ketchup

2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 cup fresh parsley

Place large, heavy skillet over medium heat and sauté sausage, breaking into crumbles ( bite size) until done. Transfer sausage to plate with paper towels.

Heat the oil in a deep pot over low heat. Add onions, garlic and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes.

Raise heat to medium, and crumble in beef.  Stir frequently to break up and cook until meat is well browned. Once browned, add soy crumbles and cook 5 minutes.

Add sausage, bell peppers and jalapeño to pot.  Stir frequently, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir for another minute.

Crush whole canned tomatoes into pieces  (I use kitchen scissors to do that). Remove pot from heat, and stir in all canned tomatoes, wine, parsley, tomato paste and all herbs and spices.  Do not add fresh tomatoes yet.

Return pot to heat and cook slowly, stirring frequently.  Add ketchup, stir and let cook on low for 2 hours.

Add fresh tomatoes and chopped parsley and let cook on low another 2 hours.

Great the first day, but even better the following day.  It makes a lot, so I usually freeze half. Freezes beautifully.  This recipe has won first place lace in two chili cook offs.

— Winner Johanna Lovvorn

Venison Chili 

1 pound browned venison (or ground meat)

Chopped onion

Bell pepper


Chili powder


1 large can diced tomatoes

2 cans chili beans


Dash nutmeg

Dash cloves

1-2 Tbsp. vinegar


Brown venison or ground meat, add all ingredients and simmer in a slow cooker or on the stove all day.

This recipe came from Adam’s grandmother, the late Virginia Lee Baird).  The venison used was from a hunting trip in southern Missouri, at The Baird Ranch.

— Second Place Adam Baird

Texas Style Chili

3 pounds ground chuck

1 pound hot bulk sausage

3 medium onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup chili powder

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

Two 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes, chopped, with their juices

Three 16-ounce cans of kidney beans, drained

Yields 5 quarts

Combine the ground chuck, sausage, onions and garlic in a Dutch oven.  Cook over medium heat until the meat is browned; stir the meat to break it up as it cooks.  Drain off the pan drippings.  Stir in chili powder, flour, sugar, oregano, and salt; stir well to mix.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes, beans, and simmer for 20 minutes longer.

Recipe comes from the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga.  This is our family’s go-to chili recipe.  For many years, we have hosted a pre-Thanksgiving get together for family following the annual Holiday Caravan Parade.  You can always count on this chili recipe to be part of our festivities.

— Gary Graham – Third Place Tie

Devin’s Texas Style Chili with Beer  

1 poblano pepper

1 green pepper

2 cans diced tomatoes

3 cans beans (1 kidney, 1 black, and 1 pinto)

1 cup brewed coffee

One 12-ounce bottle beer

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 pound sausage (Texas Pete sausage was used)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced (3 tsp. minced garlic from jar)

3/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. paprika

4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup cornmeal

3 Tbsp. chocolate powder

Texas Pete hot sauce

Heat the oil in a large stock pot just until smoking. Add the ground beef and sausage crumbles. You may want to do in batches depending on size of stock pot. Drain almost all of the grease, reserving a small amount, and remove the meat, letting it rest on a plate. Using the reserved grease, sweat the garlic, onions and diced peppers for approximately 5 minutes. Add the meat back into the pot and add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, tomatoes and beans. Once the spices have mixed well with the meat, add in the chicken broth, beer and cup of coffee.  Let simmer for about 2 hours then heat a separate pan over moderate heat and take two cups of the chili broth and add to the heated pan, then whisk in the cornmeal and chocolate and simmer for about 3 minutes and then add back to the pot. Let the chili simmer for another 20 minutes then it is ready to serve.

This recipe is based partially on “Julie’s Texas-Style Chili with Beer,” Julie Farias, Food and Wine, Best American Regional Classic Recipes, November 2010.

– Devin Phipps – Third Place Tie



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