This year’s event is on Sunday, March 26, 2017.
Getting psyched for the Annual Eat the Heat Chili Cookoff and Firefighters’ Race ? We are. At $1 per cup, with proceeds going to the Sunday River Community Fund, you can’t possibly miss out on the hottest Spring Fever event.
But before you eat your weight in chili from restaurants at and around Sunday River, you should probably test your taste buds. My favorite recipe is my dad’s award-winning chili. (You only need to win one contest to be considered “award winning,” right?) He may not be a skier, but he is a fine connoisseur of both Bloody Mary’s and chili, so this sweet and spicy bean-less blend has my vote—especially when it’s ready on the stove after a long day of skiing. Thanks Dad!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 lb. of 90% lean ground beef
1 lb. of ground pork or turkey Italian sausage
2 tbsp. of red chili powder
1 tbsp. of ground cumin
3 hot serrano peppers, chopped
32 oz. of extra spicy Bloody Mary mix
8 oz. of vodka
1 tsp. of celery salt
3 tsp. brown sugar
Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, onions, and celery, letting them sweat until translucent.
Combine the ground beef and Italian sausage with the red chili powder and the cumin in a bowl. Add the mixture to the stock pot, and break up the clumps. Evenly brown the meat, stirring occasionally.
Make five Bloody Mary’s with the vodka and mix to taste. Put one aside, and add the rest to the pot. Once you’ve brought the contents of the pot to a boil, lower to a simmer, uncovered. 21+ cooks can drink the reserved Bloody Mary after it has been garnished.
Simmer the chili for 1 hour or longer, stirring occasionally and seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and additional spices. Add the chopped serrano peppers and simmer for another hour until it is reduced.
Add the brown sugar and celery salt and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Finally, serve the chili in a bread bowl with a celery stalk and any other Bloody Mary garnish you prefer—our favorite is candied bacon and chopped pepperoncini with shredded cheddar.