Rocky Top Chili Recipe aka {Best Chili Recipe Ever}

by Edie Wadsworth on September 12, 2011

chili

We’re having chili tonight because 1) we take our football seriously around here and 2) it’s my husbands’ love language. I call it Rocky Top chili because we live in Volunteer Country and who doesn’t love to to hear Rocky Top play 20 twenty times on a continuous loop?! I rest my case. There are a few hard and fast rules for this chili and one of them involves playing/singing/clogging to Rocky Top while you stir. All three gets you extra points. If I ever become famous, it’ll be because of this chili. This is my best chili recipe ever. Except that I make it different everytime, depending on whether there’s any smoked meat to throw in or not.  People may love you for your money or good looks—-they love me for chili. And I’m okay with that.
Amen.

Ingredients:

  • 2-2 1/2  pounds ground sirloin
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 3 T. cumin
  • 3 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. hot mexican chili powder
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 – 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cans  15 oz cans of various beans  ( I use black, pinto, chili, cannelini) all in their sauces, no draining
  • 1/2 jar chili sauce (12 oz jar)
  • 2 T. Country Bob’s steak sauce
  • 2 T. worcestershire sauce
  • 3 T. honey or a 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 12 oz beer or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

I was gonna go all Pioneer Woman on you and blog every step of this chili recipe.

And though I love her like a sister (though we’ve never met—and did you know she now has a show on the food network?!),  I honestly don’t have the patience to upload/edit every step of this 8 billion ingredient recipe.

Don’t be scared by the list.  I’m laid back with my chili.   I throw in what I have and if I don’t have it on hand, I find a willing and able substitute.

That being said, you’re gonna email me and ask me about Country Bob’s steak sauce.  If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where you can get it,  you make us all green with envy.

I bought mine whilst in Minnesota this summer and then blogged the event on Facebook thanking Issues for introducing me to it.   That’s how good it is.

But if you don’t have Country Bob’s, use something else or just omit that step.

Here’s what you must not, under any circumstances, monkey around with—-

I like to call these “tomatoes that will change your life.”   At any given time, I have 10 cans of these on hand.   I never want to be caught unawares.   It’s all very apocalyptic sounding but trust me on this one.

I put them in EVERY soup, EVERY sauce,  EVERY tomato-requiring dish.   They are pricey, I’ll give you that.   So if you need more than one can of tomatoes, only use one of these.

But don’t scimp here.

What to do:

  • Brown the meats
  • Remove the meats and add a few swirls of olive oil and the onions and garlic
  • Saute those til translucent, add back the meat and add the rest of the ingredients
  • Simmer it as long as you have.  I usually cook mine a couple hours in the am and then turn it back on the afternoon.
  • You will need to re-season!!!!   If you taste it in the afternoon and it needs more salt, add salt.   More heat, add Sriracha,  more sweet, add honey,  more umpffff, add chili powder and cumin.
  • If you don’t know what it needs, add a little salt and a strip or two of bacon.   That always set the world aright.    Don’t be scared.  I always add more stuff and usually multiple things.   That’s why they call me the chili queen.  I’m not scared.   I throw things in until it brings a tear to the eye.

Serve with fritos and sour cream and salsa and green onions and cheddar cheese.

Or better yet, serve with my Holy Guacamole!

It’s so easy to make and so tasty.  Don’t be scared.

Here’s all you need:

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. chopped onion
  • Juice of one lime and one orange (I use orange if I have it but it’s not required.  Lime is required)
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or a few pickled jalapeños as desired for heat, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

holyguacamole

And then dance a little Rocky Top jig!

chili2

Rocky Top Chili Recipe aka {Best Chili Recipe Ever}

Rocky Top Chili Recipe aka {Best Chili Recipe Ever}

Ingredients

  • 2-2 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 3 T. cumin
  • 3 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. hot mexican chili powder
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 - 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cans 15 oz cans of various beans ( I use black, pinto, chili, cannelini) all in their sauces)
  • 1/2 jar chili sauce (12 oz jar)
  • 2 T. Country Bob's steak sauce
  • 2 T. worcestershire sauce
  • 3 T. honey or a 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 12 oz beer or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown the meats
  2. Remove the meats and add a few swirls of olive oil and the onions and garlic
  3. Saute those til translucent, add back the meat and add the rest of the ingredients
  4. Simmer it as long as you have. I usually cook mine a couple hours in the am and then turn it back on the afternoon.
  5. You will need to re-season!!!!
  6. If you taste it in the afternoon and it needs more salt, add salt.
  7. More heat? Add Sriracha, more sweet, add honey, more umpffff, add chili powder and cumin.
  8. If you don't know what it needs, add a little salt and a strip or two of bacon. That always set the world aright.
  9. Don't be scared. I always add more stuff and usually multiple things.
  10. Serve with fritos and sour cream and salsa and green onions and cheddar cheese.
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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deb Martell September 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

So excited to try this!!!  87 degrees in Wisconsin today so I’ll wait until that fall chill sets in!!  And I will travel to Minnesota for Country Bob’s if need be!!

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2 Brittany September 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I’ve been following your blog a while and never realized you were from Big Orange Country!! And, this chili looks amazing!! I’m off to go share it with all my fellow UT alum and Tennessee fans on Facebook. {P.S. LOVE to listen to Coach Dooley talk and glad to hear we’re not the only ones who jam to Rocky Top in the kitchen! ;) }

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3 allyugadawg September 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

On behalf of The University of Georgia & the great city of Athens (who reared & raised Derek Dooley) you’re welcome ;) Love the recipe!

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4 edie wadsworth September 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

he is absolutely adorable and i thank you for him from the bottom of my heart :)

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5 Gina September 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Unawares-hilarious. The chili looks fabulous. Loved the “True Freedom” post. Well said as always. :)

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6 edie wadsworth September 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

thanks gina!

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7 Krishna September 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Looks delicious…I’ll have to try it & call it Rammer Jammer Chili or my family won’t eat it!  Roll Tide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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8 paige September 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm

must try!
smk’s boyfriend is a diehard UT fan, serious die hard UT fan.
must whip this up for him.

ps–i shared about your tomato soup today , for the gazillionth time. thank goodness i showcased the correct tomatos…whew

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9 Southern Gal September 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm

My husband loves my chili.   Mine recipe is pitiful compared to yours.  I’m going to have to surprise him with this.  Thank you for sharing it!

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10 Anonymous September 13, 2011 at 12:03 am

Have to try this recipe soon – but can I talk you into changing the name to Rocco Top Chili since you are using Italian tomatoes? :) 

My husband used to come home from Harris Teeter and Food Lion saying “they don’t have Fenoke ~ what kinda store doesn’t carry Fenoke?” complete with the hand movements, etc. and I say “They call it Fennel here, Carl.”
 <3 your cooking, girl!xoxo michele  

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11 edie wadsworth September 14, 2011 at 10:57 am

that’s hilarious michele!!  i give you full permission to change it’s name, just don’t tell my Big Vol fan husband!
xoxo,
edie

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12 Amelia from Flux Capacitating September 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I totally agree with you about the San Marzano tomatoes…my step dad has always talked about having the “right tool for the job” and these are just that when it comes to cooking with canned tomatoes!  For what it’s worth, if you are an Amazon user you can use the ‘subscribe and save’ feature and order them by the case with free shipping.  I think it works out to about $4/28 oz can for a case of 12.  It is a little pricey until you think about all of the decliciousness that 300+ ounces of these tomatoes can make. Thanks for sharing and YAY for chili season!!  I’m pretty sure that this is the main reason that I get excited about football :)

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13 edie wadsworth September 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

very good info amelia!  i’m a prime amazon member so i will most definitely be doing this!
xo,
edie

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14 Ruth Emond September 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Your chili recipe sounds yummy. I love San Marzano tomatoes. Don’t think I’ll find Country Bob’s in these parts. Don’t know if I’m quite as talented ad you at chili making and definitely no where as talented at clogging but I’m going to have to give this chili a try. Thank you for sharing all your yummy recipes with us.

Love the new blog look.

Ruth

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15 edie wadsworth September 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

thanks ruthie!  i got a media package yesterday and was just sure it was yours—i opened it to find grammar curriculum—rats!!!
xo,
edie

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16 Laura Stevens Mann September 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

well, now i’m missing  east tennessee this morning…..
and that chili looks amazing.

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17 Courtney September 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I’ve been following your blog for about 6 months.  I’m not even sure how I discovered you.  I had no idea that you were from TN.  I grew up going to UT football games.  My dad’s blood runs orange, so I instantly fell in love with the name of this recipe.  I can’t wait to try this chili!  Thanks for sharing!

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18 Tara September 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

love this recipe…pinning it to my pinterest board to make sure I make it!

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19 Lindsey September 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Edie,
I love your blog, and just happened to check back and read your newest post when I saw this one (which included Country Bob’s sauce).  I actually went to college with “Country Bob’s” grandson at Lincoln Christian University. They sell Country Bob’s everywhere around here (Central Illinois)!  They are based out of southern Illinois around Centralia.  I would be more than happy to ship some your way if you ever want more!  I just have to run to Wal-Mart!  They are a wonderful amazing Christian family by the way!  You would love them!  And I really do mean it when I say I would ship you as many bottles of that stuff as you would like!  Have a blessed day!! 

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20 Pamela K. September 16, 2011 at 9:30 am

Yum!  Can’t wait to try this chili.  I’m pretty sure the grocery store next to my mom’s house carries the “Country Bob’s Steak Sauce”.  I’m picking up some today, along with the tomatoes. Thanks for sharing! Go Vols! :-)

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21 Suzanne Rogers Buckles September 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Cento tomatoes, they can be found in southern CA, or are they an east coast product?

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22 Haylee McWIlliams September 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Come down to Memphis and you can get Country Bob’s everywhere!!

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23 Abby February 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Kroger in Knoxville carries Country Bob’s.  I’ve made this & loved it!  Making it again tomorrow for a going away party I’m hosting for dear friends.

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24 Rachel March 8, 2012 at 1:19 am

Can’t wait to try this recipe! Also, Country Bob’s sauce is online on the website – http://www.countrybobs.com/ :) that may allow you to have it on hand more

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25 Katie August 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Ok. Its 10:00 and I just got home from food city in Jeff city to make your rocky top chili. Looked forever for your tomatoes and for the country bob steal sauce. Tired from working and half asleep found country bob steak sauce and your tomatoes. Everytime I make something from your website and shop for the ingredience I’m thinking I’ll never find all this stuff. But I do and did!! Because I’m convinced you’ve called ahead for me! Thanks, Edie! Love your recipes and I’m quite the cook now because of you! Take care….

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26 Katie August 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Btw, I instantly purked up when I found country bobs steak sauce and the tomatoes. I had to look very hard and long. I didn’t know if you knew that food city in Jeff city carries it!! I’m super excited about that one!

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27 Katie August 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

What kind of beer do you use? Any kind? Domestic or international?

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28 Sarah March 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I made your chili and it was wonderful!!!! My boys absolutely loved it! It was very hearty and filling! Thank you so much for sharing and I plan to make it again. I didn’t have Country Bobs sauce but I can’t imagine it getting any better. Look forward to trying more of your recipes:))

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29 Tammy September 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Just put a pot of this on the stove and it already smells and tastes delicious! I can’t wait for my chili loving husband to try this! Thank you!

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30 Laura August 28, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Had I known you were a VOL when I took your session at Becoming, I could have totally ribbed the Georgia Bulldog fan I brought with me! Girl, she woulda died!

Loved hearing you speak. It was amazing timing…God’s timing, some of the things you spoke about. Anyway, I’m a fan of yours now and even more so now that we have the same alliegances…lol! Us girls in orange have to stick together ;)

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31 MB October 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Favorite chili recipe, so very adaptable and flavorful! Thank you for sharing.

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32 dan October 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm

i dont think you said how many this reipe would serve.

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