Simsbury’s 3rd Annual Spooktacular Chili Challenge

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The 3rd Annual Simsbury Spooktacular Chili Challenge will be held on October 28th. Lisa Gray, Executive Director of the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce stopped by our kitchen with Youth Chef, Storm Ogren to talk about the event and make some chili.

Event Details:

  • Saturday, October 28 from noon – 5:00pm at the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center.
  • This competition is a fully-sanctioned International Chili Society (ICS) cook-off.
  • New this year is a Youth chili cooking competition for ages 17 and under! Junior chefs are invited to get into the mix with their very own recipes. Categories are traditional Red Chili and People’s Choice. Email to register. The grand prize is $250.00.
  • Last year we added a Restaurant Chili Competition, and this year the Simsbury Inn is returning to defend their title, along with 15 other restaurants, including Abigail’s Grille & Wine Bar, Attilio’s, Avon Prime Meats, Iron Horse Sports Pub, Kane’s Market, Market Place Kitchen, Plan B, Hop Meadow Country Club, The North House, The Old Well Tavern, Popover Bakery, Table 570, The Tavern at Keney Park, and Tower Ridge Country Club. They will be competing for the coveted BDC, “Best Darn Chili” title and a Chili Bowl trophy. It will be held from 2-5 pm.

Storm’s Chili Recipe:

1 ½ lbs diced chuck
¼ cup diced fatback
1 15oz can small red beans
1 15oz can pinto beans
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
2 6oz cans tomato paste
1 each large cubanelle, poblano, bell pepper
1 each small/medium chili pepper, habanero pepper
1 medium/large onion
3 shallots
3-4 cloves garlic (crushed)
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder (can add more for more heat)
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (can add more for more heat)
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, render fatback over medium/low heat. As the fat is released, add diced chuck. Once chuck begins to brown, add shallots and onions. Cook until shallots and onions become clear.
Add diced tomatoes (including liquid), tomato paste, and bay leaves.
Rinse and drain beans, add to pot.
Cover and bring to low simmer.
Dice all peppers, add to the pot; add crushed garlic.
Add remaining ingredients. Spice amounts can be altered for increased heat.
Cook covered at a low simmer for a minimum of 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with with shredded cheddar cheese, queso blanco, sour cream, and fresh chopped parsley.

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