Texas Chili Cook Off Joke

I kept thinking of this joke at the chili cookoff today (I think I have a slightly better version saved somewhere, but this one is close enough). Luckily only one of them had any serious amount of heat, but I was careful to taste each one carefully until sure that it wouldn’t kill me.


Texas Chili Cook Off
Internet | Somewhere in the past | Unknown Texan

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Notes from an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast:

Recently I was honoured to be selected as an outstanding famous celebrity in Texas, to be a judge at a Chili cook-off, because no one else wanted to do it. Also the original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking for directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides, they told me that I could have free beer during the tasting. So I accepted.

Here are the scorecards from the event:


JUDGE ONE: A little to heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.

JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.

FRANK: Holy Shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with this stuff. I needed two beers to put the flames out. Hope that’s the worst one. Those Texans are crazy.


JUDGE ONE: Smokey, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.

JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavour. Needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I’m not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave of two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre. They had to walkie-talkie in three extra beers when they saw the look on my face.


JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.

JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili. A bit salty. Good use of red peppers.

FRANK: Call the EPA, I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting shit-faced.


JUDGE ONE: Black Bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods. Not much of a chili.

FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300 lb bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear-waste I’m eating.


JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

FRANK: My ears are ringing, and I can no linger focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly from a pitcher onto it. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Freakin’ Rednecks! ! !


JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.

JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions and garlic.

FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!


JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum. Tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge # 3.

FRANK: You could put a #)$^@#*&! Grenade in my mouth, pull the #)$^@#*&! pin, and I wouldn’t feel a damn thing. I’ve lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my X*$(@#^&$ mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit, to match my X*$(@#^&$ shirt. At least the during the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, it’s too painful. I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the four inch hole in my stomach.


JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending. This is a nice blend chili, safe for all; not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.

JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good balanced chili, neither mild now hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge # 3 passed out, fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor Yank.

FRANK: – – – – – Mama?- – – (Editor’s Note: Judge # 3 was unable to report).


Middle Eastern Chili

I got invited rather last minute to a Chili Cook-Off tomorrow. I’ve never been a huge fan of chili, and by no means have any sort of potentially prize-winning recipe. Nor did I really have time to experiment and come up with one.

Here is what I was told:

“There is one rule and one rule only: You must make your own chili from scratch.
Compete for: Most Original, Spiciest and Best in Show. If there are enough vegetarian chilis, we will make a fourth category. All voting is anonymous.”

Since I can’t tolerate the heat like I once could, that category was out. Chili without meat is not even worth talking about, so forget that, and there’s no way I’d even be in the same league as Best In Show. Which leaves “most original”, or in my case, the “WTF is That?” category.

Purists and most Texans prefer their chili without beans, with pieces of beef or other animal, such as venison or other game. I usually go for the California style of ground beef with beans. But since I am looking for a bit of novelty, I needed to mix it up a bit more than that. I decided to do a middle eastern inspired version, with a mix of ground beef and lamb, sweetened with dates, and spiced with harissa, using chickpeas instead of pinto beans.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any lamb suitable for grinding, and don’t have any harissa or all of the ingredients to make it, so had to improvise some more. The result is simmering in the crock pot right now, I’ll report back tomorrow with the results. Meanwhile, here is the recipe.

1 kg goat stew meat (with bones)
1.5 lb beef chuck
1 small whole onion
2 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 black cardommon pod, 1 dried chipotle chili
1 TB Red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
2 TB Osem chicken soup powder

Crock Pot
1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 long hot pepper, chopped
1 Italian frying pepper, chopped
4-6 oz dark beer
1-2 oz bourbon
2 TB Silan
6 pitted Dates, chopped
6 dried apricots, chopped
Small can Rotel tomato sauce
1 bag dried chickpeas, soaked
Beef broth
Fresh Oregano
Fresh thyme
Fresh culantro, chopped (yes culantro, not cilantro)
1 teaspoon salt
Chili Powder spice mixture
2 each guajillo, ancho, pasilla dried hot peppers, ground
1 teaspoon new Mexican chili powder
hot paprika, Aleppo pepper, cayenne to taste
baharat and garam masala
ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds, roasted and ground
Caraway, fennel
1 dried Persian lemon
2 teaspoons black pepper
Fresh chopped Mint and/or Cilantro
  1. In large pot, heat 1 teaspoon of canola oil
  2. rinse and dry the goat/lamb and brown on all sides over high heat
  3. Cut beef into bit sized pieces
  4. When goat is browned, add beef and brown on all sides
  5. When fully browned, cover meat with boiling water.
  6. Add 1 whole onion, 3 bay leaves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 black cardommon pod, 1 dried chipotle chili, 1-2 TB Osem chicken powder
  7. Season with Worcester and vinegar
  8. boil down until only about 1/2″ of liquid is left at the bottom of the pot
  9. remove from heat and stir in about 1/3 of the spice mixture
  10. Meanwhile, chop the remaining onion, pepper, and sauté in a bit of olive oil in the crock pot. Add ground beef and fruit, mix well, and moisten with 2 ladles of beer.
  11. Stir in tomato sauce, silan, bourbon, and about 1/3 of the spice mixture. Result should be a slightly sweet, thick spicy meat sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  12. Add the meat and gravy from the other pot, discarding the whole spices.
  13. Mix well with meat sauce, add sprigs of fresh oregano and thyme
  14. Add chickpeas (start with half and adjust amount until it looks like the right amount) and stir gently
  15. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  16. Cook on high for 2 hours, then on low for 3-4 hour or until chickpeas are tender
  17. discard oregano and thyme, ladle into bowls and sprinkle chopped mint and/or cilantro.
  1. I had intended to use a ground lamb/ground beef mixture, but couldn’t find any suitable lamb, so the bony goat was a compromise, balanced with the chunks of chuck steak.
  2. Canned chickpeas would work just as well
  3. Goat can be removed prior to serving if a boneless stew is desired.