We all have our go-to recipes. For me, when it comes to chili, I always make this one. Seriously, I have probably made Touchdown Chili fifty times over the past decade. Maybe more. And before you get all bent out of shape, Arkansans, just know that there are no beans in this chili. But, if you absolutely must have them, there’s no law saying you can’t add a can. While I love the playful “beans vs. no beans” debate, the truth is we have a bean allergy in the household, which led me to seek out this recipe many moons ago.
Touchdown Chili is so easy to make and lends itself to subtle changes if you’re up for a little tinkering. Example, last time, instead of two pounds of ground beef, I used one pound of beef and one pound of ground bison. Also, have fun picking out a can of beer. I love using Flyway’s Brown Ale but pretty much any beer of choice will work. Typically, I’ll make a Frito pie with the chili. Just place a handful of Fritos Scoops in a bowl and top with chili, shredded cheddar, sour cream, and green onions.
In the end, Touchdown Chili is the perfect balance of flavors, but if you are looking to bump up the heat, just add some more hot sauce. Honestly though, the inclusion of beans might be the only thing to add to this one.
That’s if you’re a true Arkansan.
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
⅓ cup chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place the ground beef, onion and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring to crumble the beef, until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Drain off the fat and return the pan to the stove. Combine the chili powder, cumin and basil; sprinkle over the beef. Cook and stir to coat the meat and toast the spices a little.
- Pour in the tomatoes, green chilies, tomato sauce, beer and vinegar. Bring to a boil and stir to loosen any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Mix in the brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 3 hours. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking.