Recipe: Racer's Fifth Place Chili

A recipe for the chili submitted to Racer's 12th Annual Chili Cook-off by Parkville-Overlea Patch editor Nick Gestido.

It was last Wednesday when I learned about a charity chili cook-off at my favorite Parkville watering hole on Feb. 10 — I immediately knew I had to enter.

After a late Friday night and an early Saturday morning, I got to Racer's just in time to submit the following.

I present to you:

Four Hours of Sleep Chili (Fifth place) — Total time: About 4 hours.


  • 4 pounds of cubed beef
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 head (about 15 cloves) of garlic, diced
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of stout beer (I used Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout)
  • 3.5 cups of beef stock (I use Kitchen Basics, or you can make your own)
  • 1 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, diced
  • A few chipotle peppers in adobo (Check the international aisle of your favorite grocery store)
  • 1 guajillo chile, dried (again, international aisle of your favorite grocery store)
  • 1 poblano chile, dried (see above)
  • 1 12-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 12-ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 12-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
  • Herbs and spices: cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, allspice, cloves, cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Start by soaking your dried chili peppers in a bowl of warm water. Use a plate to weigh them down.

I do this first because it will take them some time to rehydrate. Also, before you start would be a good time to make sure you have all your ducks in a row as far as ingredients. Make sure everything that needs dicing is diced, etc.

Next, in a large soup pot on the stovetop, heat vegetable oil over a medium-high burner and brown the beef cubes, working in batches. Set them aside in a bowl lined with paper towels to soak up some of the fat.

Reduce the heat on your burner to a medium-low, and add diced onions and peppers, including the jalapenos, to the pot you used to brown the beef cubes.

Saute until onions start to become translucent and peppers begin to soften, generally 6-8 minutes. Add diced garlic and saute for about 2-and-a-half minutes, until garlic softens.

Next, add one can of tomato paste to the pot and cook, while stirring, until the tomato paste darkens. This step helps build a deeper flavor as the tomato paste caramelizes.

Add your bottle of dark, stout-style beer to the pot, followed by the diced San Marzano tomatoes and beef stock. At this point you will add ground cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper and oregano.

I did not record the exact amounts of each spice I used, but you can be fairly generous with these spices.

Next, add small amounts of ground cloves, allspice and cinnamon.

Seed and stem your now-rehydrated guajillo and poblano chilis, and put them in a blender with about 3 of the chipotle peppers in adobo (use more if you want to add heat to the chili). Add a little bit of the water you used to soak the chilis and puree.

Add the chili pepper puree to your chili pot.

Bring the mixture up to a boil and add your browned beef cubes to the pot. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 1-and-a-half to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure that your chili doesn't burn.

After two hours, use a slotted spoon to remove the cubed beef from the chili. Working in batches, pull the beef cubes apart using two forks to shred them. This step is time-intensive but I prefer the texture of shredded beef.

Add the shredded beef back to the chili pot, along with drained and rinsed black, pinto and kidney beans. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour.

Transfer to a crock pot, or serve straight from the pot with tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese.


Making this recipe and participating in the chili cook-off to support an awesome cause was a great experience.

Do you have a chili recipe of your own? Did you make this one and try it out? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.


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