David and I entered a chili contest recently against 6 other entrants. We didn’t win. Whomp whomp! It was the only chili with no beans. Even though we didn’t win, it was one of the entrants that was completely empty by the end of the evening (and it was a larger batch than at least two of the other entrants)… so I think people accidentally voted for the wrong number. Award-winning or not, this is a no beans chili that I will making often. We both prefer chili with no beans, and this can very easily be made in the slow cooker, so it is a winner in our family!
This chili cook off got me to thinking about what a great party idea this would be. Offer a chili bar for a sports-viewing or holiday party. Or set up your own cook off between friends or neighbors. To ensure more variety for the cook off, you can enlist people that you know will do different things, or ask people to sign up for categories.
Chili Cook Off Categories Don’t put too many limits on each category. Allow people to interpret each category as they prefer. Chili with Beans Chili with No Beans Vegetarian Chili White Chili
Chili Cook Off Accompaniments rice hot dogs cornbread baked potatoes shredded cheddar cheese diced raw white onions diced green onions sliced jalapeños tortilla chips sour cream hot sauce mustard
Encourage everyone to bring their chili in a slow cooker, whether or not it was cooked that way, to ensure the chili stays warm throughout the party. Make it easier on yourself as the host and enlist non-chili-makers to bring accompaniments, drinks, and desserts. Scroll down to see my Beef Chili with No Beans recipe. I have a recipe for cooking completely on the stove top (my preferred method) and one for cooking completely in the slow cooker (no stove required). Enjoy!
Heat the oil in a medium to large sauce pot over medium heat.
Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
Add the spices and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.
Add the beef and sauté to brown all over.
Add the remaining ingredients, bring the chili to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, with a lid ajar, until thickened and delicious, anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you simmer the chili, the more time the flavors have to marry and develop into a delicious and comforting meal.
Add more beef stock to your chili as it is cooking id it becomes too dry or if you prefer a more liquid chili.
Place all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and stir to combine well, breaking up the beef as much as you can.
Place the lid slightly ajar on the slow cooker and cook on low or high for 4 hours.
Check the chili and add more beef stock if it is too dry or you prefer a more liquid chili.