Recipes » Award-winning chili

College students serving chili

This mild yet flavourful American-style chili con carne has won me a few small-time, local awards. It also placed in the 2019 Glenville State College Chili Contest under the name Menacingly Mild and the pitch “So mild my grandma with chronic heartburn can take it!” Considering I have no particular interest in competitive cooking any more, here’s the recipe.

Author: Seth Price
Category: Entrée
Date published: 18 October 2019

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 6+ hours
Yield: About 8–10 bowls

Nutrition Info

All values are approximate and calculated from package labelling of ingredients. Serving size: 1 bowl (180g)

Total Fat7g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat0g
Unsaturated Fat4g
Potassium 225mg
Total Carbohydrates24g
Dietary Fiber10g

Vitamin A 764 IU
Vitamin C 25mg
Calcium 83mg
Iron 4mg


  • 500g (1lb) ground lean beef
  • 500g (1lb) ground pork
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 #2 can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juices reserved
  • 1 #300 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 #300 can dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 35g (4T) ancho chili powder
  • 10g (1T) chipotle powder
  • 10g (1T) freshly ground cumin
  • 10g (1T) dried oregano leaves
  • Generous dash smoked paprika
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly ground cardamom
  • Anchovy paste to taste (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Note: 40g (5T) American-style “chili powder” may be substituted for ancho and chipotle powders if unavailable.


  1. If you are using whole spices (recommended but not necessary), toast them together in a dry pan, lightly tossing till fragrant and wisps of smoke rise from the pan, then grind in a mortar-and-pestle or coffee grinder.
  2. Fry meat together over moderately high flame in a sufficiently sized heavy-bottom pot, breaking down to a fine texture with a wooden spoon, till expelled juices have evaporated and meat is well-brown. Drain excess fat. (Be careful not to burn the fond after this point.) Add spices (sans salt) and mix thoroughly, slightly toasting them. Cook vegetables with meat till the onion sweats. Reduce flame.
  3. Crush tomatoes in the same pot using the spoon, leaving no excessively large chunks. Stir in beans, taking care not to excessively crush them. (At this point, the chili will be somewhat thick. However, water will eventually expel from the vegetables to even out the texture; do not overcompensate now!)
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce flame to low to let simmer for six hours or as long as desired, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Leave partially uncovered to reduce if texture is too thin, or add water or reserved tomato juice near the end to thicken if desired. Taste and season with anchovy paste and/or salt towards the end.
  5. Serve hot with cornbread and toppings (such as Cheddar or sliced jalapeños).