Longshots is one of 3 bars in our little town of Hazen and it is our favorite hangout. We love the staff, the atmosphere and popcorn. Dale and Tammy are always planning fun things for customers and this year they hosted the first (I think it will become annual) chili cook off on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Fun fact: my husband and I met at a chili cook off 10 years ago! And we got engaged at a chili cook off a few years later. So chili cook off’s are kind of “our thing”. BUT, he always beats me. It’s true. A lot of people know I love to bake and cook and you’d think I could make a good chili but his is always (I admit it) better. We were both going to enter a chili and see what would happen this time.
I didn’t get many pictures because I was pretty busy visiting my face off. Longshots did an excellent job of hosting. They converted the shuffleboard table into a chili table and even made a fence/guard that hid all the crock pots so the judges couldn’t see whose was whose. There were 4 judges and the staff served them each of the 16 entries in Styrofoam cups. Each of the chili entries were numbered. They were judging on quite a few factors from what I remember – taste, texture, look, smell and so forth. They had sheets for notes and water and crackers to cleanse their palates. The prizes would be most unique and judge’s choice. All the customers would try the chili after judging and would vote on people’s choice. I think this is correct but I was drinking beer all day so some of my memories may be a bit fuzzy. Ha!
Most Unique – #1 chili – my husband! He made a white chicken chili
People’s Choice – #2 chili entered by a gentleman from Beulah
Judge’s Choice – #5 chili – me!! I almost fell off my barstool. I certainly don’t consider myself a chili chef so I was super surprised. And so happy! I won a $100 gift card to 2K Meats & More in Beulah.
Thank you Longshots for hosting and the prizes. We had a blast! I think I am retiring from the cook off – going out on top you know? Maybe I will judge next year?
I decided to make a riff on a chili I actually posted on this little website before. It is kind of hard to give a recipe for chili because you really just kind of dump things in and taste as you go, right? Also, I used a lot of homemade products for this. I used my husbands canned salsa, his canned jalapenos, my venison bacon and his antelope hotdogs. I am guessing most people don’t have antelope hot dogs in their freezer, right?
Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Chili – posted here and adapted from my friend Sue L. who gave me the recipe, thank you Sue! <<She is such a sweet lady!
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 package venison bacon (or 1/2 pack of regular bacon)
- 2 antelope hotdog links (could probably sub other sausage links here)
- 1 Tbsp. bacon fat (oh yes!)
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28 oz.) can Bush’s baked beans – any flavor you like, I used a kind with bacon & cumin in it
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 jar homemade salsa
- Homemade (4 oz.) pickled jalapeno pieces
- 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (more if you prefer sweeter)
- 3 heaping Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
Fry your bacon and sausage in a large pot and then remove, dice and set aside. Brown and drain your hamburger and set aside. Melt bacon fat in your pot and sauté onions for 3-5 minutes until they get a little color. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add all your other ingredients, stir together and simmer on low. I think it gets better as it cooks longer. Let it simmer all day in your crock pot. Serve with your favorite toppings or as is.
So that was a fun Saturday in Hazen! We love Longshots and they have excellent, cold beer!