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Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off 2012: Gold Medal-Winning Chili!

by Ashley on March 12th, 2012

This was actually my second year participating in the Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off, put on by one of my friends and classmates. Last year, I made a white chili with chicken that turned out okay (in my opinion, the chicken was overcooked), but it didn’t stand a chance against the competitors who shot and dressed a deer for their award-winning venison chili. Although the traditional ground beef/pork chili with tomatoes and beans usually reigns supreme in these types of contests, I still believed that “something a bit different” was the way to go: if my chili didn’t taste (or look) like anyone else’s, there would be less to compare to it to, right? This time around, my logic worked. Instead of chicken, I chose a pork chili recipe, both for its flavor and for the decreased risk of overcooking the meat. Additionally, I used hominy in place of beans; it worked better with the flavors in the chili and made the dish that much more unique—more of a Mexican chili than the American standard. And I guess the judges (my peers and guests of the party) thought it was pretty unique, too. I’ve got the gold medal to prove it! :-)

Red, Gold & Green Chili

(adapted from “Pork Chili with Tomatoes,” Bon Appétit, January 2000)

For chili

2 7-oz cans green chilies

2 fresh poblanos and 2 jalapeños (may use canned poblanos and jalapeños instead)

7 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 Tbsp all purpose flour

6 Tbsp vegetable oil + 1 Tbsp bacon fat

6 cups coarsely chopped yellow onions

12 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons ground cumin

6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes in juice

1 28-oz can hominy

For tortilla strips

5 (or more) flour or corn torillas, taco-size

2 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher flake salt

Zest of two limes


  1. Char chilies (if using) over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies. Coarsely chop and puree in blender until mixture is the consistency of a paste.
  2. Place pork in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add flour and toss to coat. Heat 3 tablespoons oil plus bacon fat in heavy large wide pot over high heat. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, cook pork until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to large bowl.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add a couple of tablespoons of chicken stock to deglaze pot. Add onions to same pot and stir until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano and cumin; stir 2 minutes. Return pork and any accumulated juices to pot; add stock, chili paste (the more you add, the hotter the dish will be), and tomatoes with juices and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until chili thickens and meat is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Add hominy and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. For tortilla strips, cut tortillas into 1/2″-wide strips. Using a pastry brush, coat strips lightly with oil. Transfer strips to a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and lime zest. Bake at 350° until strips are golden and crispy. Allow to cool on a baking rack. Serve with the chili, along with shredded cheese and lime wedges.


To tame the heat of fresh roasted poblanos, Chef Pati Jinich suggests steeping the peppers in boiling water with a bit of brown sugar. This brings down the heat while adding a touch of sweetness (The Chew, 03.13.13, Season 2, Episode 12).

One Comment
  1. Ting Zhou permalink

    It is a great recipe, I will try :)

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