Big Rick’s Crowd Pleasing Super Bowl of Chili Recipe
Updated: Jan 31
Yes this makes a super bowl of chili. I would get in legal trouble if I combined the first 2 words before “of chili” but it does go well with watching the “big game.”
It is not 5 Alarm hot. It really doesn’t need that much heat. If you like it hot then add heat after you have some in your bowl or play around with the heat as you make it. I don’t make it hot because that way everyone can have some no matter their spicy heat tolerance. A simple hot sauce like Crystal or Tabasco is salt, red peppers, and vinegar and adds good heat and flavor to anything including this chili.
The chili flavors come from the easy to find Gebhardt's Chili Powder. William Gebhardt developed it in Texas in the 1890's. It's a good story!
I promise this doesn’t lack any flavor and everyone has always liked it from kids to senior citizens.
You might be surprised by some of the ingredients (pumpkin?) but trust me it works!
It uses a lot of cans so it is pretty easy to make and the simple version takes about an hour and 30 minutes including prep. If you make your own beans from dry it will take longer. I suggest cooking them in advance and adding them during the last 10 minutes to heat up. Otherwise they can get mushy.
You can make it in advance and reheat and you can freeze it.
Want it vegetarian just leave out the beef. If you want classic Texas style with no beans that also works.
Big Rick’s Crowd Pleasing Super Bowl of Chili
1 pound ground sirloin (ask the butcher to grind it for you it is a much better option than hamburger)
1 cup diced onion (red or white)
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional if you want to add some heat I usually leave it out)
1 can (28 ounces) whole or diced tomatoes (I like the San Marzano Tomatoes Peeled Whole I buy at Safeway. I drain off 1/2 a cup of the juice in the can. In the winter I think canned tomatoes are better then the fresh)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (15 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin (This is a key ingredient. It makes the chili thick and kind of creamy. It won’t taste like pumpkin. Don’t get the pumpkin pie filling!)
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer (I like Red Stripe or Modelo)
1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
(Cans are easy and work fine but if you have time make beans from dry. I love Napa’s Rancho Gordo beans. In the photo I used their Yellow Indian Woman Beans. The beans made from dry make a huge difference in the chili. You can make them the day before and add them late in the chili cooking to reheat them.)
3 tablespoons chili powder (I only use Gebhardt Chili Powder. It beats anything I have ever made or bought. It is full of flavor, not spicy hot, easy to find, and Mr. Gebhardt is part of the great history of Tex-Mex cooking and chili.)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt
for the extras
10 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
3 to 4 green onions, sliced on the bias
4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite
In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain fat.
Add onion, green pepper, and garlic to cooked beef and continue to cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables soften.
Add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, and cook an additional 1 minute.
Add whole tomatoes and juices, crushing tomatoes by hand into bite-size pieces, tomato paste, pumpkin, beer, kidney beans, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar.
Cover and continue to cook on low heat for 45 minutes.
Remove from heat and add vinegar and salt.
It won’t take much of either but both are important. I usually end up adding about a tablespoon balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of salt.
Serve with sides like hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, and sliced green onions.
This is based on a recipe by: Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD for Heart Smart®, Henry Ford Health System.