Paige Knight - 03 / Feb / 2024

    Staff Picks: Jim and Jennifer's Chile Numero Uno

    Add a little heat to this dreary winter weather with this chili recipe. This was the winner of the 1985 NY State Chili Cook-Off.

    Staff Picks: Jim and Jennifer's Chile Numero Uno
    The B Blog

    Yields: ~6 Servings

    Cook Time: ~2 hours & 40 minutes

    Jim and Jennifer, the husband-and-wife team that owns Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill, both say this is the tastiest chili-con-carne recipe they’ve ever enjoyed, and they’re not alone. This chili was the winner of the 1985 NY State Chili Cook-off and has been re-published widely since then. It was introduced to the couple in 2013 by a dear friend and colleague, Greg Conyngham, who worked with them at Kitchenwares on Newbury St. in Boston. Fun fact: that was before Kitchenwares and Blackstones merged together in the iconic store at 40 Charles Street that we all know and love today!

    “Meaty and flavor intense” is a good characterization of the 16-ingredient recipe, but the "heat" can easily be toned-down to taste by cutting back on the generous quantities of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Jim and Jennifer recommend pairing this chili with cornbread and a big spoonful of sour cream. Personally, I’ve always loved using chili to make a tasty Frito pie.

    Tools You’ll Need

    Smithey 5.5 qt. Dutch Oven

    Our Smithey 5.5 qt. Dutch Oven would work perfectly with this recipe

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 pounds ground pork
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ⅓ cup chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 3 tablespoons oregano
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
    • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
    • 4 cups tomato juice
    • 3 cups beef stock
    • 8 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tablespoons cornmeal (optional)
    • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans

    Preparation

    • Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
    • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 20 minutes).
    • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 4-5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat.
    • Combine the beef and pork in the Dutch oven, and season with salt and pepper.
    • Brown the meat, stirring often and crumbling evenly, for about 20 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. 
    • Once the onions are done cooking, add them into the Dutch oven. 
    • Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, coca, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
    • Stir in tomato juice and beef stock.
    • Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. 
    • After an hour, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 
    • Simmer for another 30 minutes until the chili is thickened to your liking. 
    • Stir in the garlic.
    • (optional) stir in the cornmeal to thicken further or bind any surface fats. 
    • Stir in the beans and simmer for 5 more minutes before serving with cornbread, sour cream, or Fritos and cheese.

    Recipe Notes

    If you’re interested in switching up the spices in this recipe, we recommend trying out De Lat, Bonga, Vadouvan, Sel Marin, Garam Masala, and/or Seti Berbere to put a new spin on this dish. Check out our spices blog for tips on how to get creative with flavors.

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