[Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico; 20º 41.9'  N/105º 17.7' W]


1st  Place People’s Choice at the 2004 “Great Chili Cook-Off”

sponsored by Vallarta Yacht Club - Click Here for Pictures




*   1 cup dried red beans

*   1 cup dried pinto beans

*   2 lbs. lean stewing beef or flank steak, cut into small bite-sized pieces

*   1 lb. Italian sausage: (1 lb. ground pork butt; 2 tsp. fennel seed, 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper; 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced).   Mix ingredients together and store in tightly covered container in refrigerator overnight to allow flavor to develop.

*   1 large onion, sliced fine

*   5 fresh “Anaheim” green peppers, cut into 1” pieces

*   1 large fresh sweet red bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces

*   1 fresh habañero pepper, finely minced

*   2 fresh jalepeño peppers, sliced

*   1750 grams diced tomatoes (e.g., 7 x 350 g boxes)

*   700 grams tomato sauce (e.g., 2 x 350 boxes)

*   1 cup dry red wine

*   2 tbs. chili powder

*   2 tsp. red pepper flakes

*   1 tbs. dried basil

*   2 tsp. cumin powder

*   1 tbs. paprika powder

*   2 bay leaves

*   1 tsp. cayenne pepper

*   ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

*   olive oil


For garnish:

*   ½ cup fresh basil, finely minced

*   ½ cup Italian parsley, finely minced

*   8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded


Wash beans and soak overnight, changing water frequently (8-12 times).  Beans can be soaked in 100% seawater if you are offshore and conserving fresh water.


Combine beans with enough water to cover beans with ½ inch of water in a pressure cooker.  Cook for 45 minutes on the highest pressure setting.  If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook beans until they are tender (may be a few hours).   Remove beans and liquid from heat and set aside in separate container. 


Return the pot or pressure cooker to the stove.  Brown sausage mixture in 2 tbs. olive oil.  Remove sausage to separate container and set aside. 


Add beef to pot and brown in 2 tbs. olive oil, adding ½ cup red wine towards the end of browning.  Allow wine to almost cook off and then remove pot from stove.  Remove beef / wine mixture to a separate container and set aside.


In pot, saute onion and red pepper flakes in 1 tbs olive oil until onions are translucent.  Add anaheim peppers, sweet bell pepper, jalepeño peppers, minced habañero pepper and minced garlic.  Saute for an additional two minutes.


Add all other ingredients (including beans and meat, except garnish) and simmer for one to two hours.  Add additional herbs and spices or wine to taste if needed during simmering.  It also helps to sip a little wine while the chili is cooking.  (Hint: resting overnight in the refrigerator after cooking helped to enhance the flavor of the winning chili.) 


Serve in large soup bowls, garnish with fresh basil and parsley and mozzarella cheese.  Serve with crusty Italian bread dipped in (of course) olive oil.  Serves 6-8 very hungry cruisers or about 12 landlubbers.