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The latest news from the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board.

May 15, 2017

Spicing Things Up at the New England Chili Cook Off

Beef chili was certainly a favorite among attendees of this year’s 32nd annual New England Regional Chili Cook Off in Somers, Conn. on May 6.

The annual festival drew consumers from the surrounding Connecticut and Massachusetts areas to sample and enjoy a variety of chilis prepared by cooks from across the United States. This year’s cook off attracted nearly 75 cooks, hosted a cannon ball start, and welcomed five World Chili Champions who joined in on the festivities. The beef checkoff was excited to be a sponsor of the “Jim Heywood ‘Yutes Division’,” where 14 youth, ages 6-18, competed for a trophy, a tent, $1,000 cash and a few surprises. All youth cooks were outfitted with a Chili Cook Off-themed ‘I Heart Beef’ T-shirt to keep the competition festive.

In preparation for the chili cook off, the checkoff engaged with consumers in digital and social media advertising through a media buy with iHeartRadio to promote quick and easy family meals in the Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts markets. A few of the featured recipes included Grilled Steak and Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread and Greek Bowls with Balance. Through these efforts, the checkoff gained nearly 360,000 impressions and 8,000 engagements.

Cook off attendees were encouraged to learn more about serving their families the perfect beef meal and ask their beef cooking questions at the checkoff booth. Parents and children could test their knowledge of beef cuts; win some great beef swag; grab a selfie with ‘Bubba’, a large, inflatable steer; and make their own New England’s Best Beef Chili Spice Rub to enjoy at home. Spice mix and recipe directions are listed below. For more beef chili recipes to try at home, check out these Beef Chili Five Ways recipes and meal variations.


1 pound lean ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 14-oz. can beans

1 14-oz. can low-sodium diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 8-oz. can low-sodium beef broth

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Diced green onions

Spice Mix:

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon basil

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


Combine spice mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cook ground beef, onions, peppers and garlic together over medium heat, breaking ground beef into ¾-inch crumbles. Stir in beans, tomatoes, sauce and spice mix; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced green onions and enjoy!

The national beef checkoff and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council were sponsors and exhibitors at this grand Northeast event.

For more information on the checkoff’s involvement at the New England Regional Chili Cook Off, visit the NEBPI website, NEBPI Facebook page or contact Jennifer Orr. For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit

Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.
Image 1   Photo Caption 1: Millennial advocates engaged with cook off attendees quizzing their beef cut knowledge, sharing beef recipes and hosting an interactive chili spice bar, teaching area families easy ways to cook beef at home.