Hoot Owl Chili

This is prize-winning chili -- namely First Prize at the Original Viva Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert-Wick Fowler Memorial Championship Chili Cookoff -- and the honors went to Maxine Reed.

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 5 tablespoons New Mexican red chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 pounds chuck tender, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium jalapeños, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, white pepper and red chile powder. Mix the spices until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Coat a heavy 4-quart saucepan with the cooking oil, and sear the meat, stirring briskly. Add the water, tomato sauce, beef broth and onion. Make a slit in each of the jalapeños with a knife, and add to the saucepan, together with half of the spice mixture. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the jalapeños after 1 hour and set aside. Add the remaining spice mixture and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. When the jalapeños are cool enough to handle, press them through a strainer and add pulp to the chili. Discard the skins.
  4. Cook an additional 30 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  5. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: Maxine Reed's original recipe used one teaspoon of MSG, which was mixed-in with the spices at the beginning. When I make this chili, I use as little as ¼ teaspoon of cayenne. But if you like your chili hot, you can use the full teaspoon without having to call the fire department.

Ready in: 4 Hrs

Kitchen tools you'll need for Hoot Owl Chili:
Chili Bowls, Dutch Ovens, Stock Pots

Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell