Chefs’ Super Bowl Chili Showdown

There’s a reason chili at a Super Bowl party is about as ubiquitous as hottie twins in beer commercials: It’s a hard-to-screw-up, one-pot dish that’ll feed a ton of people. In anticipation of this Sunday’s showdown between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, we asked chefs from both sides—Newark native and Blue Duck Tavern chef Brian McBride and New Haven-bred Tony Conte of the Oval Room—for their back-pocket chili recipes. McBride handed over a three-meat version that he says is all about the aroma. Conte’s version is more traditional, with optional kicks of cilantro and chipotle. Which do you think wins? Let us know in the comments.

Brian McBride’s Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound chorizo, removed from casing
½ pound smoked pork sausage
2 onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds diced beef shoulder
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in purée
1 bottle stout beer
1 cup beef stock
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded then finely diced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 12-ounce can kidney beans
Salt and pepper to taste


Sour cream
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion

In a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, brown the chorizo in the oil, crumbling the meat as it cooks. After 5 minutes, add the smoked sausage, onions, and garlic, cooking until the onions are soft. Add the diced beef and brown. Pour in the tomatoes, beer, beef stock, peppers, cumin, chili powder, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue to simmer for 1 hour. Add the vinegar and kidney beans, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Serve with garnishes.


Tony Conte’s Chili

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red peppers, diced small
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cans red beans, rinsed
2 cans tomatoes, puréed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
Chipotle peppers

In a saucepan set to medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the ground pork and beef, and season with salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onions, garlic, red peppers, and jalapeño. Cook 5 minutes more. Add the beans and puréed tomato. Season again with salt, black pepper, and the remaining cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer 1½ to 2 hours, stirring often and tasting to adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with garnishes.


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.