Nebraskans have some pretty deep passions: Husker football, running outside to film a thunderstorm, and our ever-yummy combo of chili and cinnamon rolls. So to warm up a cold December day, the White Castle Roofing crew held a chili cook-off – complete with the best cinnamon rolls EVER. We’re more than just a roofing company…it turns out we have some pretty amazing cooks as well!

Five team members made their best chili recipes, and brought them in for a blind taste test. Employees were invited to spend their lunch hours sampling chili, and placing their ballots in a cup next to their favorite chili. The rest was a potluck-style lunch, with tasty sides and snacks, and three pans of accountant Pam’s famous cinnamon rolls.

The winning chili was nearly unanimous! Created by project manager Matt Yoakum, it was a phenomenal pot of deliciousness. And for our blog readers, Matt was kind enough to share his recipe. If you want to make it the way he does, you’ll need to start by sowing serrano, poblano, and ancho peppers along with various tomato seeds after the last frost – and don’t forget his most important ingredient: love. Try this one at home!

  1. Dice a couple onions, a few peppers, and a few cloves of garlic. Layer those in the bottom of a dutch oven, then add your meat – in this case, pork shoulder, but other cuts may work as well. 
  2. Cook it at 225 degrees in the oven, at least 4 hours, until the meat falls apart with a fork.
  3. In a separate stock pot, rinse, soak, and cook dried black and pinto beans, according to package directions. Drain the beans.
  4. When the meat is ready, remove it from the pot and set aside to shred once it cools. Add the drained beans to your dutch oven, along with canned stewed diced tomatoes and tomato juice, until you have the thickness of chili desired. Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove top.
  5. Taste your chili, and season to taste with chili powder, and a pinch of SECRET INGREDIENT Old Bay seasoning. Once the flavor comes together, after about 30 minutes, add the meat back in, and serve.