Award-Winning Chili – a hearty, unusual and scrumptious chili that’s flavored with green chiles, cilantro and fennel!
Given how cold and snowy it is in most of the U.S. today, I thought I’d share this delicious chili recipe. A fellow who purchased my cookbook at a holiday show told me his chili recipe had won the top award in his community so many times they asked him to stop entering the contest. I asked him if he would share the recipe and he immediately rattled off the list of ingredients. This is my version of his delicious chili – and it truly is an award winner! I was convinced that I would need to add chili powder (no, the original recipe didn’t call for it!) but, to my surprise, this chili doesn’t need it. Enjoy!
Award Winning Chili
- Yield: 6 to 8 1x
- 1 can (4 ounce) chopped green chiles, undrained
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (around 2 – 2 1/2 cups chopped)
- 1 pound ground beef, elk, buffalo or venison (or a mixture)
- 1 pound mild bulk Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans (10 ounce to 14.5 ounce will work) chopped tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel brand works well), undrained
- Sour cream and grated sharp Cheddar cheese for garnish
- Place the green chiles and cilantro in the bowl of a small food processor and process until well blended. Set aside.
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the meat, sausage, onion and fennel until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat; add the beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, stir in the chili-cilantro paste and cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt (doesn’t need much). Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cheddar cheese.
Make ahead: chili can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat over medium heat.