Golden Ladle Chili

My belief is that good recipes are meant for sharing, not keeping secret.  This is the chili recipe I’ve worked on for 7 or 8 years that has won 2 Golden Ladles in a row at the prestigious Mount Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church Chili Cook-off.

2 ½ lbs           Beef Chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 ½ lbs           Pork, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 Tbs              Kosher Salt (I use Morton)

1 tsp               Ground Black Pepper

½ cup             Corn Oil

1                      Extra Clean Wooden Spoon

2                      Medium Onions, chopped

10 cloves       Garlic, minced

1/3 cup          California Chili Powder

1 Tbs              Ground Cumin

2 tsp               Dried Oregano

5 cups            Chicken Broth (I use homemade or “Better than Bouillon”

1 can              Diced Tomatoes, 15 oz

5 cans            Pinto Beans, 15 oz, drained and rinsed


  • Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and season with the salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the corn oil in a large stew pot over medium-high heat. Sear the meat in small batches until well browned, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Transfer the meat to a bowl and reserve. Use the extra clean wooden spoon to smack the hands of snitchers trying to “sample” the meat.
  • Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan. Sauté the onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more.
  • Stir in the 1/3 cup of chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the canned diced tomatoes and whisk in 4 cups of the chicken broth. Add the meat and any accumulated juices back to the pot. Bring to a simmer, season with additional salt and pepper if necessary, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • In a food processor or blender puree 2 cans of beans with the remaining cup of stock. Add the bean mixture along with the whole beans and the chipotles.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *