Australian rules! This man makes Brooklyn’s best chili • Brooklyn Paper

Australian rules! This man makes Brooklyn’s best chili

Twice is nice: James Gosper won the PS 107 chili contest for the second straight year on Sunday. He’s Australian, by the way.
The Brooklyn Paper / Gersh Kuntzman

The first time, it was good fortune. The second time, it was domination.

Yes, sports (and chili) fans: Australian native James Gosper won the hotly contested PS 107 chili contest for the second straight year on Sunday.

Judges cited Gosper’s deeply layered flavors, the richness of his short ribs, and his charming, Down Under accent as the keys to his victory.

“I guess I’m just schooling you all,” he said, that Australian brogue snapping like an accusation.

Gosper, who has three kids at the Eighth Avenue school, credited his experience in a previous life as a wine maker.

“When you make wine, the entire goal is building layers and balance of flavors,” he said.

In this case, he uses habanero peppers — and then a touch of sugar to balance out the heat. There’s also two forms of alcohol (he’s Australian), a fridge door full of condiments, and a hint of citrus.

The resulting dish impressed dozens of chili connoisseurs in Park Slope on Sunday — including runner-up Andrew Hughes, who fell to Gosper for the second-straight year.

“As I said last year, I will beat him next year,” Hughes said.

James Gosper’s PS 107 Chili

8-12 beef short ribs

1 large bottle of Guinness

Soy sauce

Chili sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

1/2 bottle of red wine

4 habanero peppers

1 packet dried black beans (rehydrated for 24 hours)

1 can red beans

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato paste.

1 jar of anchovies in oil

2 large pieces of pancetta or thick-cut bacon

3 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

Fresh lemon

Confectioner’s sugar, as needed

Smoked paprika

Marinate the ribs overnight in a large dish to ensure full coverage. Cover with Guinness, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, a good dollop of chili sauce, honey and two chilies, diced. Leave in fridge for 24 hours and turn a couple of times.

The next morning, pre-heat the oven to 320 degrees. Then, saute the anchovies and oil in a large casserole pot and break them down into a paste while heating.

Add onion, garlic, the other two chilies and pancetta.

Cook down on medium high. Add the red wine and reduce by half (about 10 minutes). Add beans, tomatoes, tomato past, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to flavor. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Take ribs out of marinade and place in the tomato/bean base.

Put lid on pot and place in oven. Slow cook for four to six hours, stirring every 40 minutes. You will know it’s done when the meat completely falls off the bone.

Allow to cool for two to three hours. Remove all bones and grisly bits and bay leaves, and shred the meat gently.


If chili is too hot, add one tablespoon of sugar, but do not make it too sweet. Add one or two teaspoons of the smoked paprika to lend a smoky flavor, but be careful because it is powerful.Season with pepper and salt and the zest of the lemon. Put in fridge overnight.

The next morning, skim off some of the fat. Warm and enjoy.

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