This time of year reminds me of Chili. This week, my friend Gracie suggested that I enter into a Chili Cook-off that will be held in Hoboken in late February. I made Chili once, so I thank her for the confidence she has in me! I went on a mission this week to find the best recipe and did as much research as time permitted. I was inspired by Bobby Flay’s Red Beef Chili, but his recipe has a lot of fresh peppers. My concern was that the supermarkets would not have all of the types his recipe called for. His recipe also uses chunks of beef (bottom round) and I am usually a fan of Chili with ground beef.
Yesterday I went all around Hoboken to find chili peppers and ended up with dried chilies instead. I thought I would make a chili sauce for the base to replace the fresh peppers. Then, when it came time to buying the beef, I was reluctant to get the bottom round, so I decided to compromise with myself (BTW, I do this all the time), and get both bottom round and ground beef. So, while Bobby’s recipes was my inspiration, I did change it up a lot. I made the chili sauce yesterday – something I recommend as it take a little time to prepare the sauce, but worth it.
As I was preparing to make the Chili this morning, I had every intention to use both kinds of beef. This is where the Tale of Two Chili’s comes into play. Since I might enter into the contest, I decided to test out the two separately, using exactly the same ingredients and make two versions – you, got it – one with the bottom round and one with the ground beef. I plan to bring both to work and let them be the judges! As soon as the results are in, I will let you know!! My preference is the ground beef 🙂