Steak adds flavor to prize-winning chili

September 28, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

Terry Carr got a nice reward Saturday after years of perfecting his chili recipe.

Out of 25 chili "teams" that cooked up multiple hot and spicy batches for the Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-off & Music Festival, Carr's chili was the most irresistible to judges.

His family chili team, "It's TNT TailgatiN' Time," won the best overall chili award and the $1,000 prize that came with the title. His wife, son and daughter and their friends were part of the team that made the Carr booth look more like a tailgating party.

"It's what we do every Saturday at State College (Pa.) when (the Nittany Lions) are at home," Carr says. When the weather is cooler, the Carr family often will bring along their chili to munch before football games.


The Washington County Arts Council also was a winner Saturday, as the recipient of funds raised at the chili cook-off. Totals show that the event at Municipal Stadium raised more than $18,000 for the council.

Carr, of Greencastle, Pa., plans to keep his award-winning chili recipe a family secret, but he can share a very similar recipe that he has been making for about three years.

"I think good chili is when you eat it, you want to eat more," Carr says. He also likes to be able to taste all the ingredients.

The following recipe is the base recipe that Carr and his family used to build Saturday's crowd-pleaser. One hint: Carr's award-winning chili used steak instead of hamburger.


5 pounds hamburger

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 medium to large red pepper, chopped

1 medium to large yellow pepper, chopped (use different color peppers for appearance, Carr says)

4 (8-ounce) jars of Old El Paso hot sauce (use medium or mild depending on desired spiciness, Carr suggests)

2 cans green chiles

1 large can of light kidney beans

1 large can of dark kidney beans

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (12 ounce) can of tomato paste

4 tablespoons of chili powder

Brown meat with salt and pepper. While meat is browning, in a soup pot combine onions, peppers, chiles and cook until tender. Add hot sauce, tomato sauce and tomato paste to the vegetables, stirring often. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add chili powder and cook again for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add meat to the sauce and bring to a slow, rolling boil. Add beans and bring to a boil again. Add juice from the beans depending on thickness of chili desired. Add juice for less thick chili. Taste the chili; if it's too spicy, add brown sugar a 1/4 cup at a time to sweeten and tone down the heat. Carr likes to serve his chili with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

Serves 12 to 15.

- Courtesy of Terry Carr

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