Everyone thinks their chili recipe is the best. If you’re feeling inspired after sampling the offerings at Five Points annual Chili Cook-Off, here are a few celebrity recipes to try, starting with Lady Bird Johnson’s “historical” version:
Lady Bird Johnson’s Pedernales River Chili
From the New York Times
4 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 ½ cups canned tomatoes, cut up
2 to 6 dashes hot sauce, or to taste
Salt to taste
Cook the meat, onion and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring, until lightly browned. Stir in the oregano, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, hot sauce, salt and 2 cups hot water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, skimming off the fat as it cooks.
Jimmy Fallon’s Crock-pot Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 pounds ground chuck beef, ground for chili
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 habanero chile, seeded and very finely chopped
1/4 cup chile powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juices
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Tortilla chips, for serving
Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
Chopped tomatoes, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; drain in a colander, discarding fat, and set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, and habanero; season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, combine beef, onion mixture, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and beer; cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally, for 5 hours.
Add kidney beans and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with desired toppings.
Kevin’s Famous Chili (Inspired by “The Office”)
3 ounces dried ancho chiles
1 ounce dried cascabel chiles
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 Tbsp cornmeal
1 Tbsp toasted & freshly ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried oregano
32 ounces chicken stock, divided
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 pounds chuck steak, trimmed and diced into very small cubes
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 habanero pepper (optional), seeded and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
12 ounces Mexican lager
6 roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
12-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Salt & pepper to taste
6-foot length low-quality poly fiber carpet (just kidding, don’t get this)
Shredded white cheddar (optional)
Cut open dried chiles and remove seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and in a dry pan over medium-high heat, toast until fragrant and barely smoking. Place in a food processor and process until reduced to a fine powder, about 3 minutes. Add cocoa powder, cornmeal, cumin, and oregano, and pulse to combine. Add 3/4 cup of chicken stock, and blend until a paste forms. Set aside.
Place vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add beef in batches and brown on all sides. Once at least half the beef is browned, add onion, jalapeños, habanero, and garlic to the pot and sweat briefly before deglazing with the Mexican beer. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, kidney beans, beef, spice paste, and the rest of your chicken stock - stir until combined, and bring to a bare simmer.
Simmer for 2-3 hours, or until beef is tender and chili has thickened. Season with salt and pepper, pour onto polyfiber carpet (just kidding, definitely don’t don’t do this. Seriously. Don’t.) and top with cheese and other desired garnishes.
Guy Fieri’s Dragon’s Breath Chili
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. bacon grease or canola oil
1 c. red bell pepper
1 c. green bell pepper
2 tbsp. jalapeño
1/4 c. garlic
2 c. red onion
1 lb. boneless chuck
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 c. tomato paste
1 c. tomato sauce
12 oz. beer
1 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. granulated onion
2 tsp. granulated garlic
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. hot paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. Black pepper
4 c. pinto beans with juice
4 c. kidney beans with juice
In large stock pot over high heat, add butter and bacon grease/oil, then add peppers, garlic, and onions and cook until caramelized. Add meat and stir lightly, trying not to break up ground beef too much. Cook until meat is done.
Add tomato paste and sauce, stir for 2 minutes, then add beer and chicken broth. Next, add all spices, and beans, lower heat, and simmer 2 hours.
Garnish with saltine crackers, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.
President Obama’s Chili Recipe
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground basil
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes
One 29-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions, green pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the meat to the pan. Once the meat has browned, add the spices. Stir in the red-wine vinegar and tomatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the whole tomatoes down. Stir in the kidney beans.
Cook the chili covered for 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
OPTIONAL: The Obama’s like to serve this chili over white or brown rice. Garnish the chili with toppings such as grated cheddar cheese, chopped onions, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, scallions, cilantro, avocado, or corn bread crumbles.
President Ronald Reagan’s Chili
1⁄2 cup bacon drippings
2 cups chopped onions
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 lbs coarse ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups red wine (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon beef base
4 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar
6 cups canned pinto beans
Using a 1 1/2-gallon heavy pot, melt bacon drippings. When hot, saute onions and garlic cloves. Add ground beef and chili powder. Stir until meat is well browned. Add red wine. (optional). Add salt, beef base, tomatoes, bay leaf and sugar.
Simmer chili meat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring often. Then add pinto beans to the meat. Simmer chili con carne for 1 hour, covered over low flame, stirring gently from time to time. Test for flavor.