Bramble Chili Cook Off + winning chili recipe

Competition was fierce at the Bramble Berry office for our first annual Bramble Chili Cook Off! The only requirements were to cook up the heartiest, spiciest, best possible pot of chili, and there was no shortage of entries.  From vegetarian to Cincinnati-style to extra spicy, for a blissful afternoon, the office was a hardy chili lover’s dream.

You can’t have chili without corn bread! This was a delightfully spicy jalapeno cornbread made by our Customer Experience Manager, Kevin. It paired perfectly with everyone’s chili.

So many chilis, so little time! In the end, our three judges had to choose just one recipe to take home the title of ‘Best Chili.’ After much debate, they decided on a green chili made by Bramble Help Desk extraordinaire Kari. Kari’s chili had just the right amount of kick, and the green salsa she used definitely set it apart from the other chilis. If you’re looking for a hearty Super Bowl Sunday dish (go Hawks!) this might just hit the spot.

Kari’s Chili Verde with Pork


5 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 small onion (chopped)

2 cloves of garlic

Approx. 3 pounds of pork

28 ounces of green enchilada sauce

4 ounces (hot) chopped jalapeno peppers

One 15 oz. can black beans

About 20 splashes of Tapatio or Red or Green Tabasco

1 tsp. Johnny’s Seasoning Salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

One cup water

Salt and pepper to taste


6 – 8 servings


Prep — 20 minutes

Cook time — 5 hours

ONE: Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant.

TWO: Add the cubed pork and cook until browned on the outside. Transfer the pork, onions, and garlic to a slow cooker. Stir in the green enchilada sauce, jalapeno peppers, black beans and Tapatio sauce.

THREE: Add another tablespoon of olive oil along with the Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, smoked paprika, water, salt and pepper.

FOUR: Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 4 – 5 hours. Enjoy!

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  1. Sharlene says

    I love the way BB employees get to spend time together aside work, through all the different activities during the year. And this is one of my dreams. I would like to build a company to be able to provide a job for others and make it a place they would like to be at, just like how it looks at BB :)

  2. Susie says

    The best chili I have ever had comes from when we do a chili dump. It does not matter how many times we do this it is always the best chili. So maybe next year after your contest take all of the left overs and do a chili dump for the next day and see if it holds true for you!

  3. ML says

    Oh that Pork Chili sounds great too, and two seasons ago I had a bumper crop of Tomatillo’s so I have jars of green salsa and here is another way to use them. I make a white chili with ground turkey and no red tomato’s, the sauce is chicken broth & green salsa. Oh and I use Great Northern kidney white kidney beans too.

    • says

      Hi ML!

      That sounds so good! I recently bought a bunch of jalapenos thinking I would make jalapeno poppers for a football game, but I didn’t have time. Maybe I should make salsa with them, thanks for the idea! :) Green salsa is my favorite :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

      • ML says

        Hi there Amanda,
        Besides the Tomatillo’s to make green salsa out here when there are still green tomato’s on the vine and we are going to get a frost we hurry and pick them all so they do not freeze. I have a whole folder of “green Tomato” canning recipes so that we do not lose the crop and I also make a green salsa with the green tomato’s. I make chutney, mincemeat and relish, also I pickle some too like a dill pickle. Depending on the weather any given year you may have more or less green tomato’s so I try to not be wasteful of my gardens bounty.

        Now you could dry those Jalepeno’s I use a dehydrator and store them in jars and I just pull out what I need and hydrate them and then chop them into my recipe’s. Also I cure my soap in my sewing room away from the cats, and I keep a fan running to circulate the air in the room. So I dried my catnip from my garden and some other herbs and seeds for my next garden In there on cardboard trays from the cases of cat food. So see curing soap helps me with my garden too.
        Mary Lou

        • says

          Hi ML!

          Thanks for the great suggestions :)! I wish I was more of a gardener, I would love to grow my own produce! I might need to look into buying a dehydrator, I have always thought they sounded really cool but have never had a good reason until now to get one. Thanks again ML :)

          -Amanda with Bramble Berry

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