Tom’s Award Winning Chili and Fire Crackers for Super Bowl



Tom Feie’s chili is on the menu. Tom, an Eastside Cincinnati resident, shared his recipe that won first place in a corporate chili contest 3 years running.

Yes, the chili takes a bit of time to assemble, but once it starts cooking, requires little attention.

Serve some fire crackers on the side. They stoke up the heat quotient with red pepper flakes. A word of advice: do not leave fire crackers out uncovered. Why? Every time you pass them you’ll be tempted to eat “just 1 more.” This is experience talking. Addictive is the buzzword here.

Tom Feie’s triple award winning chili

This is one recipe worth spending time on.


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 2 oz. chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: oregano, thyme and paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 24 oz. spicy V-8 juice
  • 1 cup pepperoncini peppers, diced
  • 4 oz. pepperoncini juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Brown ground beef in large pot, remove and drain. Add oil and brown chuck roast and remove roast.
  2. Add herbs and spices to oil and cook over low heat, 2-4 minutes.
  3. Add onions and celery and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 hours or until roast is tender.
  5. Taste and stir while it cooks and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves.
  6. Yield: approximately 6 quarts

Fire crackers

All I had were Ritz regular crackers. Yummy, even though they were a bit salty.  Feel free to use salt free crackers. And you decide how much heat you want.


  • 48-60 crackers, either salt free saltines, regular saltines or Ritz round crackers
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 pkg., 1 oz. dry ranch dressing salad mix
  • 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)


  1. Spray 2 cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Whisk oil, salad mix and pepper flakes together.
  3. Either lay out the crackers in a single layer on the cookie sheets and brush with oil mixture on top of each, or place crackers in a large bowl, pour oil mixture over and mix gently to coat crackers on both sides. Then place in single layer on cookie sheets.
  4. The crackers with the coating on one side will be a bit milder. I did both ways and couldn’t decide which was better.
  5. Bake until coating is absorbed and crackers turn golden, about 5-6 minutes or so. Cool and store at room temperature.





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