Category Archives: Soups and Stews


peoples-choice-trophyThis is the 3rd year I have participated in Chilly Chili Fest in Waynesboro PA.  I won it the first year and 3rd last year.  This year I decided to go crazy and make a chili that is totally off the wall.  My thought was to have a chili that is great but different.  So I created what I call 5 meat chili because it has 5 different meats.  I am not going to put measurements in the recipe because like I have always said chili needs to be tweeked to your taste and liking.  I am going to give you all the ingredients but you will have to use them to your liking.  I will give the approximate amount of meats which is 1 large pot of chili.  When you do chili competitions the one thing which is talked about is whether you use beans or not.  In my opinion if you don’t put beans in your chili it’s not chili ….. Its a hot dog topping.

2 pounds of 85/15 ground beef
1 pound of 93/7 extra lean ground beef
4 thin pork chips fat trimmed off completely nobody wants a bite of freaking fat
1 package of beef smokies
10 strips of bacon
approximately 2 pounds of boneless leg of lamb
You need to cook the lamb prior to making the chili

Remaining ingredients:

1 package of assorted sweet peppers
1 large sweet onion
brown sugar
better than bouillon approximately 4 table soons (this stuff gives you the sodium and beef flavor)
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder
cayenne pepper for heat
crushed tomatoes
diced tomatoes
tomato paste
red beans
black beans
beef broth
chicken broth

Prep The Meat:

Cut the pork chops into small little pieces
quarter the smokies length wise
Cut the pre-cooked lamb into small pieces

Preparing The Chili, you need a big pot and a large frying pan

1.  Fry the bacon and put your 85/15 ground beef in the pot and start cooking the beef
2.  When bacon is done set aside and keep the fat, now cook the onions and peppers in the pan
3.  When beef is done strain all the fat out.
4.  When the vegetables are soft dump them in the pot.
5.  Cook the smokies and pork in pan, when done dump in pot
6.  Put the pre-cooked lamb in pan for just about a minute and dump in pot
7.  Cook the 93/7 ground beef in pan when done strain and dump in pot
8.  Add the cans of tomato products, broth and beans
9.  Add the spices and use portions to tweek it to your liking. 
10. Chop bacon into bacon bits and make it the last thing you put in the pot

Bring chili to a boil and immediately change to low heat. Great chili is simmered at a very low boil. 
My tip I want to share with you is what is called the 8 bubble boil.  You should look while it is simmering
for 8 bubbles.  This chili to get happy and great should 8 bubble boil for approximately 4 hours.  

Jack Daniels Chili

IMG_0872I am always looking for a different way to make award winning chili.  Yesterday my son suggested to put some Jack Daniels in it.  I thought about it and decided to put together a recipe with Jack Daniels.  My biggest decision was to use a staple I always use in chili and that’s beer.  I wasn’t sure how mixing beer and Jack Daniels would turn out.  After looking at the ingredients you will see I substituted something else for the broth than beer to let the Jack Daniels stand out in the flavor.   You will also notice that I don’t use salt.  I get the sodium from other ingredients.


2 Pounds Of Ground Beef
1 Pound Of Chorizo Sausage Squeezed Out Of Casings
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1 Bell Pepper Chopped
4 Jalepano Peppers Chopped
2 Cans Beef Broth
1 6 Oz Can Tomato Paste
1 12 Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
8 Oz Of Jack Daniels
1 Tsp Beef Granules
1 Tsp Chicken Granules
1 Tsp Granulated Onion
1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
5 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 12 Oz Can Of Light Red Kidney Beans
1 12 Oz Can Of Pinto Beans


In pot or large skillet melt some butter and add onion and peppers.  I call this 
sweating them.  After about 3 minutes add the chorizo sausage.  Saute sausage and 
veggies until sausage is about half done.  Add ground beef and saute until the meat is done.  It is very important to get the grease out so now dump everything into a 
colander and drain the grease out.  Put back in the pot and add all the remaining 
ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let it get happy for about
2 hours.  If it needs to be thinned out it's ok to add some water.  Cheers !!!

Bacon Cheeseburger Beer and Cheese Soup

IMG_0408well with fall officially here I can I can now go into preparing meals which are for cooler weather.  This soup which has everything you would find in a cheeseburger hits the spot.  This soup has all the ingredients you would have in a bacon cheeseburger along with our favorite drink a beer all in one bowl of heaven.

2 lbs of lean ground beef
5 pieces of thick cut bacon
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium potato chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 jalapeno chopped
1/2 cup of flour
2 cups of beef broth
2 cans of beer of choice, I used bud light
2 tsb ketchup
1 tsp spicy mustard
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 8 oz can of tomato paste
1 cup of half and half
2 16 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese


In skillet fry bacon until done, remove and let rest on a paper towel.  In seperate pot fry the ground beef until it appears done.  Drain the beef in a colander to get rid of the grease. In the bacon fat add veggies and let them simmer until soft
approximately 10 minutes.  After draining the beef put back in pot and add the veggies.  Add the flour and let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add beef broth, beer, 
ketchup, mustard, worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.  Add the half and half and let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes.  Add cheese and simmer another 5 minutes.  Serve into soup bowls and garnish with croutons. This soup will have everyone not wanting to leave.  Cheers !!!


My New Chili Recipe Which Will Be Defending My Championship From Last Year.

IMG_0740On December 5th I will be returning to the Mason Dixon Barbecue Chili Cook off Championships.  I am the defending champion in the people’s choice division which is the category which you make it ahead of time and you can put anything in the chili you want.  This year I am sticking to the same spices but going to add a few different techniques.  Instead of putting all the ingredients together at the same time I am creating what you call 2 dumps.  That is a combination of spices that you add at different times of creation.  One other different technique is taking part of the ground beef and making a beef paste in a blender.  The other technique I am trying to accomplish is to chop the onions and peppers larger so that after they cook down that you can see them.  If you chop them so fine they disappear in the simmering process.  So the goal here is to be able to see the veggies and to see the result of making a beef paste. Also I have said in previous recipes that the measurements are not exact, in this recipe I am following the measurements to a T.




























Directions: Take half of the ground beef and place in blender.  Blend the beef until it becomes a beef paste.  Chop onions and peppers and chop them into larger than you would think pieces. Keep in mind that they will cook down and in the end you want to see them.  Squeeze the chorizo sausage out of the casings.  In a small amount of olive oil simmer onions and peppers and cook until soft.  Add the beef paste and sausage.  Cook approximately 5 minutes until primarily done.  Add the remaining gound beef and cook until it is done.  Take the meat and dump into a colander to drain all the grease you can get out of there.  Now it is time to get serious.  You have the first dump ready so add it to the meat and add the beer which is your broth. Let simmer for 30 minutes.  After the 30 minutes it’s time for the second dump.  Add it to the chili and let simmer for another 30 minutes.  After you have simmered both dumps for 30 minutes, add the beans and let simmer for approximately 15 more minutes.  If you feel it gets too thick you can add beef broth to thin it out. Now you have my hopefully award winning chili 2 years in a row. CHEERS !!!!







Pork And Sauerkraut Soup

20151027_165551Since I know my family heritage goes back to Czechoslovakia and Germany I have a love for German and Eastern European food.  This is a very simple dish to prepare and it is so amazing especially on a cold day.  Like most recipes the measurements do not have to be exact.  You can load this soup up any way you like.  I do recommend on loading up on the veggies.


4 Country Ribs
3 German Sausages (Brats) Cut Into Small Pieces
1 Large Onion Chopped
3 Carrots Chopped
3 Stalks Of Celery Chopped
32 Oz Of Sauerkraut
2 Medium Potatoes
4 Tsb Salt
4 Tsb Pepper
1 Tsb Parsley
1 Tsb Ground Thyme


In large soup pot take the ribs and fill pot up until ribs are covered in water and 
boil the heck out of them, approximately 2 hours.  After the ribs are tender,
remove and let cool.  Once they are cool pull all the meat off of them and put meat 
back into the pot.  Add all the remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil.  
Once the veggies are close to being soft (approximately 10 minutes) bring to a
simmer and allow to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  You now have a bowl of
German/Eastern European Love.  Cheers !!!

Homemade Ham And Bean Soup


With fall in the air there is nothing like a pot of homemade ham and bean soup.  The secret to making an outstanding pot of ham and bean soup is in the ham hocks.  If you can find them use hocks that have not been previously smoked.  Include 1 hock that is a country ham hock.  If you do you will not need to add one pinch of salt the hock will season the soup itself.  I use a pressure cooker to cook the hocks but you can simply boil them to get the same results, the pressure cooker is simply quicker.


2 ham hocks unsmoked if you can find them
1 country ham hock
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 teaspoon of ground thyme
2 cans of great northern beans or beans of choice


Place hocks in pressure cooker or pot of water.  If using a pressure cooker cook for 1 hour or in a pot of boiling water bring to boil and simmer for 3 hours or until 
tender.  Remove hocks from pressure cooker or pot and let cool.  Pull all the meat 
off the bone and disregard fat. Run your broth through a gravy separator to remove the fat from the broth.  Chop the meat into small pieces, add the meat and remaining
ingredients to the broth.  Simmer for approximately 1 hour.  

6 Can Soup

7 Can Soup

A simple to make soup which is spicy and great anytime of year.  I have seen other versions of this soup which uses canned chili.  I prefer to use fresh meat and spices, it makes such a difference.



1 Pound of Ground Beef
1 Small Onion Diced
1 Bell Pepper Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper Diced
1 15 Oz Can Of Corn
1 15 Oz Can Red Kidney Beans
1 15 Oz Can Pinto Beans
1 15 Oz Can Black Beans
1 15 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes
1 10 Oz Can Rotel
Velveeta Cheese
2 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Ground Cumin
1 Tbs Oregano
2 Tbs Salt
2 Tbs Black Pepper


Saute onions and peppers until soft approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Add ground beef, mix with veggies and cook until meat appears done. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and rotel and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Add the corn, pinto, kidney, and black beans including all the liquid in the cans.  Simmer for approximately 15 minutes.  When serving cut up some velveeta cheese and let it melt into the soup.  Serve with nacho chips or corn bread if you like, Cheers !!!!

Home Made Beef Vegetable Soup

20150301_161257I haven’t posted a new recipe for a while so today with it being a winter wonderland outside is a perfect day to make a pot of home mode beef vegetable soup.  Like most of my recipes the measurements are apporximate and of course vary the measurements to your liking.  I recommend to use as many fresh vegetables as possible.

4 lbs Chuck Roast
2 Tsb of Vegetable Oil
1 12 oz can Beef Broth
4 Cups Of Water
1 Medium Onion Diced
3 Carrots Diced
2 Stalks Celery Diced
1 Medium Potato Diced
1/4 of a Head Of Cabbage Diced
1 Handful of Fresh Green Beans, cut into small pieces
1 Small Bag of Frozen Peas
1 Small Bag of Frozen Lima Beans
1 Small Bag of Frozen Corn
1 12 oz Can Of Crushed Or Diced Tomatoes
1 8 oz Can Of Tomato Paste
1 Tsb of Minced Garlic
2 Tbs of Parsley Flakes
1 Tsb of Ground Thyme
5 Tsb of Salt
3 Tsb of Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
Cook the chuck roast until very tender.  I use a pressure cooker.  Chop the meat into small pieces.  Take the remaining broth and strain the grease from it and save.  Chop all fresh vegetables and put in large pot.  Add vegetable oil and cook the fresh vegetables until about half soft.  Add the left over beef broth and bring to boil.  Lower and simmer the vegetables for approximately 5 minutes.  Add garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth and meat. Bring back to a boil and then add the frozen peas, corn, and lima beans.  Let the soup boil for approximately 5 minutes and then simmer for approximately 1 to 3 hours.  Add salt and pepper to your desire.  You can also add some hot sauce if you like.  Cheers !!!

My Award Winning Spicy Dark Chili


This is the recipe I entered into a chili competition in Waynesboro PA.  It won the people’s choice award.   For the competition I used pinto beans.  I call this dark chili because most of the key ingredients are dark in color like dark beer and brown sugar.  When tasting this recipe you should notice that it is hot clashing with sweet.  Please take note that when I make chili I don’t measure out ingredients.  You put the spices in to your liking.  The measurements given are approximate and you can use any kind of peppers you want.

2 lb chuck roast fat trimmed and cut into small pieces
1 lb of ground beef
5 links of chorizo sausage squeezed from casings and crumbled into small pieces
1 medium onion chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper chopped
4 habanero peppers chopped
2 poblano chili peppers chopped
6 jimmy nardello chili peppers
2 12 oz bottles of dark beer (guiness works great)
2 8 oz cans of tomato paste
1/4 cup of dark chili powder
1/8 cup of red paprika
1/8 cup of ground cumin
4 tbs oregano
4 tbs of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of brown sugar
3 cans of beans  (optional)
In large soup pot add all the meat, peppers and onion.  Simmer for approximately 20 minutes until meat is cooked and vegetables are soft.  Add the 2 bottles of dark beer and continue to simmer for apporximately 10 minutes.  Now add the 2 cans of tomato paste, spices, and brown sugar.  Let simmer for at least 1 hour.  If you like beans in your chili add them before serving. 

Chicken Corn Chowder


On a cold day when you want to stay inside and chill, nothing beats a nice bowl of hot creamy soup.  My chicken corn chowder hits the spot and is very easy to prepare. 
2 pounds of chicken cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
2 cups of corn (fresh or frozen)
1 medium onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 potatoes chopped
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
In soup pot melt butter, add onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes.  Cook until tender about 5 minutes.  Add flour to the veggies and stir until it thickens.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.  Add the heavy whipping cream the the chicken and the corn.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for approximately 15 minutes.  You can serve with some fresh parsley or chives.  Cheers !!