Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili WINS South Regional Finals


Riunite South Regional Winner Rebecka Evans

Photo by Riunite Wines

Riunite Bold and Beefy Chili

Food and Photo By At Home with Rebecka

My Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili WINS – South Regional Finals – Houston, Texas 2018

Riunite Bold and Beefy Chili

Rebecka Evans South Regional Finals – Riunite Chili Cook-off Winner with Houston Texans Kevin Walter

About The Wine:

Riunite, America’s #1 and best loved Italian wine for over 4 decades, is the leading source of classic wines from Central Italy’s Emilia Romagna Region, home of prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar. Riunite is most closely identified with the Lambrusco grape, a variety native to central Italy. Lambrusco is said to be one of the oldest grapes in history, one that was first vinified by the Etruscans, dating back to before the first century BC.  When you are drinking Riunite, you are drinking history.

About The Contest:

Create an original chili recipe best paired with Riunite Lambrusco, writing up the recipe in 500 words or less. All ingredients must be readily available and be precisely measured. A photo of your recipe is optional. Five finalists will be selected to participate in a cook-off in Cincinnati, OH, prior to the pro football game on November 11, 2018.
This contest is one of 5 regional contests with the same theme. Each contest is judged separately and there is no national cook-off this year.

5 Regional Finalist Prizes: 2 upper-level end zone tickets to the pro football game in Houston, TX on October 7, 2018 and a $100 pre-paid debit card for required chili ingredients. Finalist will be required to provide their own ground transportation to and from the event and will receive a $200 pre-paid debit card for fuel, toll and parking expenses. Finalist’s guest must be at least 21 years of age. (ARV $500).
Regional Winner Prize: $1,000 check.

Riunite Winner South Regional Finals

Contestants From Left: John Anders, Dan Hill, Mary Janssen, Official Judge: Texans Kevin Walter, Claudia McCarty, and Rebecka Evans – Photo by Riunite

Game On

The folks at Riunite Wines really know how to throw a tailgate chili cook-off.

The South Regional Finals were held in Houston, Texas  at NRG Stadium on  October 7, 2018.

The five South Regional Finalists enjoyed a relaxed chili cook-off; complete with a delicious catered tailgate meal including lot’s of Riunite wine. Former Houston Texans Wide Receiver  Kevin Walter,  was one of the official judges for the event. He was such a charmer as he was eager to pose for photo ops and sign autographs right before the chili cook-off. After I won, he made a point to find me to say he loved my “expensive” chili. 

The event was well thought out and beautifully executed by the entire Riunite staff. Their generosity of gifting each contestant $300.00 for food, gas, and expenses. Each contestant was also given the Coleman stoves you see on the table, along with a cool blue apron with a water chiller pocket and retractable bottle opener. Food sport folks can never have enough cool aprons! 

The contestants brought their “A-Game” with deliciously diverse chili recipes. Listed below are the names of the contestants followed by their creative recipe titles:

John Anders Deep in The Heat Chili

Dan Hill Texas Snakebite Chili 

Mary Janssen Hit Me Chili 

Claudia McCarty Hot Tropical Trail Chili

There was not a bean in sight as these Texans really get the long standing tradition of NO BEAN Texas Chili. Focused and determined to win, they gave me a run for my money. The judges said it was one of the tightest scoring chili cook-offs in Riunite history! I’m honored to be the Riunite South Regional 2018 winner. 

One of the highlights of this contest was meeting my longtime facebook friend and fellow food competitor Claudia McCarty for the very first time. The love of food sport has enriched our friendship through this competition. I’m so proud to know her and call her my friend!

This was also the very first time my youngest son Christopher was able to attend one of my cooking competitions. Chris was a such a great help as he hauled all of my cooking gear and worked as my social media specialist. He also helped me drag my butt off the floor after tripping in a giant hole right before the event. My scraped knee is still healing, but he was there to collect his momma, helping her overcome the adversity and win. Christopher is also the editor of my food blog. Thank goodness for that because I write like I talk! 

There is no better way to end a day than to win the cook-off and to see the Houston Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys in overtime! Enjoy my chili! 

Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 medium onions, fine chopped

1 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steak

1 1/2 pounds Ribeye Steak

1 1/2 pounds Flat Iron Steak

1/4 cup oil, divided

1/4 cup minced garlic, about 10 cloves

1 8 ounces can tomatoes with chilies

1 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes

1 3 ounces can chopped green chilies

2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup Riunite Lambrusco Wine

1 12-ounce bottle of beer (I use Modelo Negro)

5 tablespoon chili powder

1 beef bouillon cube


Fine chop onions, brown in 1 tablespoon oil. Remove onions from pan and keep in a large bowl.

Chop 1 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steak, 1 1/2 pounds Ribeye Steak, 1 1/2 pounds Flat Iron Steak into 1 inch pieces. Cook meat in batches using about 1 teaspoon of oil for each new batch. Brown meat on all sides and remove to the large bowl with the onions. Continue cooking meat until all the meat is browned.

Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan and sauté minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with Riunite Lambrusco wine. Return meat and sautéed onions back to the pot.

Add chilies, cumin, oregano, dry mustard, salt, garlic powder, tomatoes, beer chili powder and bouillon cube. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours.

Garnish with corn chips, sour cream, diced onion, shredded white or cheddar cheeses, and sliced jalapeños.

Riunite Winner South Regional Finals

These cute ladies loved my chili so much they asked to take a photo with me! So sweet – I have fans!