The Return of the WT Chili Cook-Off

Left: Monica Knapp, Jack Himmelheber, Mariah Marshall

Things got heated at the office with chili cook-off success. Congrats to Monica for winning the coveted ‘Spoon of Honor’  for Best Meat for Best Meat and Best Overall, Mariah for Best Vegetarian, and Jack for Best Cornbread. Thanks to everyone who participated and made it a fun and filling event! Re-create these winning chili recipes at home:

Monica’s Best-in-Show Chili

1/3 lb thick cut bacon, sliced crosswise in ½ pieces
1 lb boneless pork ribs cut into bite size chunks
1-1/2 lb stew beef, cut into bite size chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 Tbs Kosher Salt
1 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs chipotle chili powder
1 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs oyster sauce
32 oz stock or water
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ cup canned red beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs corn starch
2 Tbs cold water


In a large pot, sauté bacon on medium heat to render out fat. Transfer bacon to crock pot with a slotted spoon.

Use bacon fat to brown beef and pork chunks in batches, transferring to crock pot when evenly browned.

Add salt, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, white and black pepper, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce to crock pot, and coat meat evenly. Pour out excess fat from your pot, leaving a tablespoon or so in the bottom.

Add diced onions to pot and caramelize on medium heat.

Add bay leaves to onions when they are starting to become translucent.

Add minced garlic in with onions and remove 1 bay leaf – cook for 2 min.

Add ½ cup stock to deglaze the bottom of the pan and transfer onions and garlic to crock pot.

Add beans and stock to crock pot, stir gently to combine.

Set crock pot on low and simmer for 6 hours.

After chili has been simmering 6+ hrs, create a slurry with corn starch and water and add to crockpot. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate into chili.

Let simmer for 1 more hour.

Serve hot & enjoy!


Jack’s Honey Jalapeno Corn Bread


1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup French’s Crispy Jalapenos – crushed, + more for topping, optional
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup honey


Line a slow cooker (at least 6-quart size or large) with foil and spray foil generously with cooking spray. (Make sure foil is large enough to reach part way up the sides of the slow cooker to help pull out the cornbread once cooked)

In a large bowl combine cornmeal, crispy jalapenos, flour, frozen corn, cheese, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir to mix well. Mix in eggs, broth, and melted butter until completely incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, remove the lid, drape a kitchen hand towel over the top of the slow cooker, and return the lid on top of the towel.

Once ready to serve, grasp the edges of the foil and lift the cornbread out of the slow cooker. Place on a flat surface and cut into serving portions. Drizzle with honey and top with additional crushed crispy jalapenos if desired and serve.


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Tagged with WT Culture

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