Back in the late 1980’s, I worked for a company called Griffin Homes in Calabasas, California. At Griffin, we were always having parties. In fact, the most elegant and expensive Christmas parties that I have ever been to were put on by Griffin Homes for their employees. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. It sounds like a really cushy job, doesn’t it. Well, we did work hard, too, but let’s get back to the parties. One day we were having a chili cook-off during our lunch break, and the man who won the cook-off told us that he had put pepperoni in his chili. Pepperoni?? That stuff that goes on pizza? Yep, that’s what he said.
So several years later, when I was creating my own recipe for chili, I decided to add that winning ingredient — pepperoni, and a few other ideas of my own. The result was a terrific-ly tasty and spicy chili.
I once made this for a buffet-style dinner party that I held in my home, but since not everybody likes spicy food, I just made one recipe of the chili and served it with several other dishes. The chili was the first to go, and I can still remember the disappointed look on the face of one of my guests as he said to me, “I didn’t get any of the chili. It’s all gone!”
This chili has three kinds of meat in it: shredded beef, sausage, and pepperoni. That’s a whole lot of flavor going on in one dish! But one thing you won’t find in my chili are beans, and that’s because in my ever-so-humble opinion, chili should be bean-less!
You’ll need to cook the roast in water for a couple of hours so that the meat will be nice and tender, and then you shred it. About 20-30 minutes before your roast is done, you can start cooking the sausage and slicing the pepperoni. Dice up your onions, too.
Add all of the ingredients to the pot.
Cook, stirring frequently for about 45 minutes or until the flavors are blended and the onions are tender. Top individual servings with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
Serving suggestion: I just happened to be photographing the recipe for Cheese Pops on the same day that we had this chili for dinner, so I served them together, and it turned out to be a great combination.
WARNING! If you don’t like spicy food, this recipe is not for you. And if you like it really spicy, you’ll want to use the ingredient quantities in the brackets.
Laura’s Spicy Chili
A Winner Dinners Original Recipe
2 pounds boneless chuck roast
1 cup beef broth (use the broth from cooking the pot roast)
12 ounces (3/4 of a package) Jimmy Dean HOT sausage
5 ounces pepperoni, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 16-ounce cans tomatoes [use tomatoes with jalapenos for spicier chili]
1 16-ounce jar mild salsa [use medium salsa for spicier chili]
2 7-ounce cans diced green chiles
3 tablespoons chili powder [use 4 tablespoons for spicier chili]
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper [use 1/2 teaspoon for spicier chili]
chopped green onion
Place the roast in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and cook for 2 hours. Reserve one cup of the broth. Remove all fat from the roast and chop or shred the beef; set aside. Using the same large pot, cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Slice the pepperoni and chop the onions. Add all of the ingredients to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently for about 45 minutes or until the flavors are blended and the onions are tender. Serve with toppings if desired.