In a few weeks I will be participating in my first ever Chili Cook-off!
This will be a local event, and I am not really sure what to expect, but when I heard there was a chili cook-off happening, I knew I needed to partake. While the event seems to be pretty unorganized (as I have learned trying to communicate with it’s organizer), and the parameters for the judging haven’t been disclosed I am going in totally blind and just hoping that my Chili stands out from the rest….
I am sure there will be millions of Ground Beef Chilies as well as a few vegetarian Bean Chilies, maybe even a Chicken Chili, but I wanted to go with what I know as “Colorado Chili”. The difference between Colorado Chili and your typical ground beef chili is that the meat used is usually Chuck Meat, cut into cubes and cooked until the cubes just melt in your mouth. The sauce in the chili is almost closer to a gravy’s consistency, and the chili gives off more of a stew vibe than a chili vibe (except for the flavors which are very obviously chili). I feel this variation in meat will hopefully set me apart from my fellow competitors…
I decided to top my Colorado Chili with some typical Chili toppings like Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese and Chopped Chives (and of course some hot sauce, to taste). But you can top this with anything you like: Avocado, red onion, tomatoes, salsa, you name it! I am still not 100% set on what I would like to top the Cook-off Chili with….I may have to do some more taste testing….it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it…
So I made this chili today as a test chili and was a huge fan of the way it turned out! The first thing I liked about it was the texture – it was exactly what I was hoping for – a melt in your mouth beef, with a creamy sauce. The flavor was of mild spice (so I added hot sauce to mine as I saw fit). The one thing that is necessary is that you taste and season it completely before serving. Since you’re not cooking it with any salt, the salt and pepper at the end is what allows all the flavors to come out. Taste it multiple times and season liberally.
I think for the cook off, what I will do differently is add an acid component while cooking – probably apple cider vinegar. I may reduce the amount of chicken stock in it and add in the vinegar to help round out the depths of flavor. I may also add some cayenne to the cooking process to give it that underlying heat that cayenne is so great at providing. I will post my results and updated recipe after next weekend! Wish me luck!
Slow Cooker Colorado Chili
Slow Cooked "Colorado Style" Chili that will melt in your mouth!