This Sunday afternoon I’ll walk into a Super Bowl party with a container of food fit to feed an army. And I guarantee that the guests, including my date, will be impressed. America’s biggest sports-cholesterol-booze-fest is one of the best occasions to gather with groups of friends, or make fast friends with people you’ve just met. In other words, it’s the perfect place to impress (or meet) a date. And if you’re one of the people who provided the meal, prepare for admiration from your fellow guests. Particularly if you deliver a championship dish.
Nearly every party I host or attend is an occasion to cook. Why? I’ve learned that whether it’s for a small group (or even one person), or a room filled with my closest hot-sauce covered friends, the ability to serve a delicious meal brings people joy, and also lets them know you’ve got your act together — without your having to say anything at all.
I’m not a professional chef, but I spent many summers cooking for large groups of teenage campers in the woods, which gave me the perfect training to serve a horde of ravenous football fans. The key, of course, is to create a classic dish that everybody loves, and to do it really, really well.
In other words, it’s all about the Super Bowl Chili.
This recipe is delicious, hearty and really hard to screw up (seriously — even the non-cook can ace this one). It’s a meat-heavy dish featuring bacon, pork sausage and sirloin beef (sorry, vegetarians — this one’s not for you. But here’s a great veggie chili recipe). The heat level is medium to hot. It is intended to be served with cornbread (recipe included here) or on top of rice. The measurements allow you to feed a party of at least 12, with room for leftovers. Do not be intimidated or afraid: you can go to battle with this dish.
Super Bowl Chili
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
For this recipe I used canned kidney beans. Cooking with dry beans adds another hour or so to your cook time but in my opinion yields a tastier bean.
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp cayenne
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
Ground black pepper (as needed)
1 tbsp thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup cilantro
2 cans (28 oz) whole peeled tomato
1 can (15 oz) tomato paste
1 lb sirloin
1 lb thick cut bacon
4 links or 1 lb hot Italian sausage
4 cans (15 oz) kidney beans
2 fresh jalapeños
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 medium body beer
1 large stew pot
Knives and cooking spoons
1. Open cans of beans and tomatoes and set aside.
2. Tenderize sirloin with salt and black pepper. Put beef back into fridge.
3. Peel carrots and chop into small sections. Peel onion and chop into chucks. Peel garlic and chop into medium slices. Chop jalepeños.
4. Separate 3/4 lb of bacon, chop into 1-inch sections and place in pot. Save balance of bacon for cornbread.
5. On low heat, place bacon into pot and stir occasionally for roughly 5-7 minutes, then add carrots, onion, garlic and jalepenos; stir until integrated with bacon and rendered fat. 5-7 minutes.
6. Cut sausage and cube beef into roughly one inch sections. Add to the mix in pot. Stir frequently and add salt and pepper. You are light browning the beef and sausage. 5 minutes.
7. Empty cans of beans, tomatoes and tomato paste into pot . Stir so that contents are fully integrated and that nothing is stuck to bottom of pan. Add half a can of beer to mix. Chug the rest of that beer. Stir again.
8. Add all the dry spices, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary sprigs to pot. Stir. Add salt or black pepper along the way as per your taste.
9. Cover pot with lid and allow for some air to escape. Leave on medium-low for moderate simmer for just under 2 hours. Stir frequently. 15 minutes before the end add 1/2 cup cilantro.
DO NOT LET CHILI BURN.
Serve with cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and red onion.
Major Fat Guy Cornmeal Bannock
Thanks to Daniel Freed and Sam Santarelli.
The brick to your chili mortar. This dry cornbread features bacon, cheddar cheese and jalepeños. It is meant to be eaten with the chili, preferable crushed up in a bowl. It is also very good on its own with honey.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
1/4 lb cubed thick cut bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 corn meal
1/2 table spoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Half cup milk
(They uses bacon greese as a fat; if you like, swap that out for 1/4 cup vegetable oil).
1 medium size baking or cast iron pan
1 mixing bowl
1. Chop all bacon into 1-inch sections; cook until crispy. Set aside. Extract bacon fat, let cook for 10 minutes.
2. Measure flour, corn meal, salt and baking powder. Place into mixing bowl stir and set aside. Grate cheese and set aside.
3. Grease baking or cast iron pan. Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
4. Add bacon and cheese into dry ingredients and mix until fully integrated.
5. Add eggs, milk and bacon grease into dry ingredients. Mix until you have non-lumpy ydough.
6. Spread dough evenly into baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Check doneness 5 minutes prior to finish.
Ladle chili into bowl and then float sliced bannock on top. Garnish with cilantro, red onion as desired.
Serves 10 people
Photo credit: All photos by Daniel Freed
Read more from Ben (that’s him, on the right) at BK + MTL Kitchens.