Fall is in full swing and the weather has really cooled down out there. One of our favorite ways to welcome Autumn and spend some time as a team at Harrington Group is to hold our annual, good-old Chili Cook-Off! Our team certainly enjoys this event and this year was no exception.

We had a total of fIMG_0158our awesome entries this year. We all agreed that the competitors truly stepped up their game and that this was the best year yet! Again, we held a “blind” tasting and everyone was given the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite chili. But, in the end, there can be only one winner!

And, this year’s 2015 Harrington Group Chili Cook-Off Winner was: Jeff Harrington! Jeff took home the 2015 trophy, Amazon gift card, and bragging rights. He joins the ranks of past winners Kevin Johnson (2012) and Rob McFeaters (2014).

Interested in trying out the winning recipe? Jeff did a Google search to find a recipe that sounded like the very best to him and made a few changes to adapt to his tastes. The original recipe came from Food.com and can be found here, but here is Jeff’s version (along with his adaptations):


3 t. vegetable oil

1 c. red onion

1 c. green bell pepper, diced

1 large celery rib, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 average sized jalapeno, seeded and diced

1 ½ lbs. beef brisket, diced

1 lb. Jimmy Dean hot sausage

1 lb. ground veal

1 ½ bay leaves, crumbled

½ tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning mix

½ c. chili powder

1-11 oz. bottle Guinness

1-16 oz. can stewed tomatoes

1-8 oz. can tomato paste

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 t. honey

1 ½ c. water

1 can black beans

1 can dark red kidney beans

Cheddar cheese (optional)

Sour cream (optional)


  1. Cook the sausage and veal separately in a cast iron skillet until significantly browned – drain and set aside.
  2. Get your brisket smoked and ready to go at your favorite BBQ joint – or smoke it yourself – slice it and dice it.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in large pot/Dutch oven, over medium-high heat; add onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook until tender (about 8 minutes).
  4. Add all meats to pot, along with all remaining ingredients (up through the beans), and enough water to come to the top of the chili ingredients. Stir until mixed completely.
  5. Simmer on low heat, uncovered for at least 3 hours.
  6. Top with cheddar cheese and/or sour cream, if desired.

We hope that you’ll give this recipe a try. If you do – let us know what you think! Or, please feel free to share your chili-making tips/recipes with us in the comments below. Who knows? Maybe one of our team members will use your recipe next year!