Monday, October 10, 2011

1st Place Winner... Smokey Maple Madness Chili

Over the weekend I created a chili for the 21st Annual Ludlow Chili cookoff.  After soaking the beans and slow cooking the chili for an entire day I had 5 galloons of my sweet and spicy chili.  The turnout was great and the response to the bold chili was even greater!  I decided to share my recipe with anyone who wants to try it out because it was so tasty...and I'm going to enter a new chili next year. 
Chili is a great one-dish meal that contains protein, complex carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and vegetables.  I almost named this chili "Everything but the kitchen sink" because it has so many ingredients, even though it is easy to put together.  Add a quick salad to a bowl of chili and you have a healthy meal!  The secret to this chili is the smoked paprika, liquid smoke (hickory flavor), and of course, the Vermont Maple Syrup!  This chili is full of three types of beans, shredded beef, ground beef, bacon, and tons of fresh veggies and spices!  I love to put corn in my chili to sweeten it up and add a little "pop".  It turns out that most everyone seemed to really enjoy it too! 

Cooking the chili really slow allows the flavors to meld together and allows the stew beef to shred.  You can do this chili in a large pan or in a slow cooker and have it ready when you get home! Chili freezes extremely well if you can't consume it all before it goes bad.d  Use single-portion-sized tupperware for portion control and to cut down on defrost and cooking time. 

A note on the beans... Its best to use dried beans in your chili, but canned beans work too if you are short on time.  Dry beans are about half the cost and don't contain all the sodium that the canned varieties do.  To cook your beans:  Soak beans in a large pan for at least 6 hours, or overnight.  Simmer for 2 hours.  Your beans are now ready for use!  

Smokey Maple Madness Chili
Makes 1 galloon. Serves 16

3 slices of hickory bacon, diced
2 large onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 fresh jalepenos, diced
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 pound of lean stew beef
2 Tbsp powdered garlic, divided
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 cups of pinto beans
2 cups of black beans
2 cups of red kidney beans 
1 cups corn
2 16 oz cans, crushed tomatoes
2 16 oz cans, diced tomatoes
1 cup of reduced-sodium beef stock
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp liquid smoke (I used wright's brand)
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I used Arizona Gunslinger)
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions: Place bacon in a large pot over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes.  Add onion, jalepeno, and green pepper, cook for 5 minutes and set aside.  Brown the beef with 1 Tbsp of the garlic powder and the onion powder.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook uncovered, over low heat, for 3-4 hours or until the stew beef is shredded.  

Nutrition Facts: ~1 cups
340 calories, 42 g carbohydrates, 26 g protein, 9 g fat, 11 g fiber, 365 mg sodium


  1. I entered this chili in a chili cook-off this weekend and WON both competitions! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Don't know how I missed this comment. That is awesome! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. For this recipe, do you call for 2 cups of DRIED pinto beans (and black, kidney) or 2 cups of each as WET beans?

    1. Great question... The beans should be two cups each of cooked beans (homecooked or canned). Hope that helps!

  3. I used this Recipe and won 3rd place in my office Chili Cookoff!

    I followed the recipe exact ally, I just didn't use the Liquid Smoke and upped the Syrup amount to 1/2 a cup!