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Chili with Beef, Veal and Sausage

Top Chef Owen's Chili on TODAY February 1st, 2018
Top Chef Owen's Chili on TODAY February 1st, 2018Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Prep Time:
15 mins
3 quarts

Chef notes

Top Chef Junior contestant Owen Pereira shared this recipe for chili with three kinds of meat. "It's easy to make, the prep is fast and you get a great reward," says 14-year-old Pereira, who hopes to someday become a Michelin-starred chef. 


  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably chuck or short rib
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound mild Italian pork sausage, bulk or removed from casing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 slices bacon, diced
  • cups large onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the canned chipotles)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Brown the beef, veal and pork sausage in a large saute pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Use a whisk to break up the large pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


In a 6-8 quart stockpot, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crisped.  Add the vegetables and saute until they are translucent. Add the browned meat to the pot and stir to combine. 


Stir in the chipotle chiles, adobo sauce and spices.  Add the tomato puree and stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If chili becomes too thick, add more stock.  Add the beans to the chili during the last 30 minutes of cook time. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.