Chef Paul's Country Roads Chili

We all know that salsa is great for dipping our favorite tortilla chips into, but it also can be a very versatile ingredient.

One of my goals with developing the three new Gourmet Series recipes was to create flavors that could make great additions to a variety of dishes.

Think of using the Pineapple Habanero as a topping for a pecan crusted trout...adding the Blueberry Jalapeno to a batch of meatballs or as a topper for a homemade meatloaf...or this recipe, where the Cherry Chipotle salsa adds a bit of smoky heat to make a quick but delicious chili.

Chef Paul's Country Roads Chili


  •  1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  1 pound of 90/10 Ground beef*
  •  1 jar of Blue Smoke Salsa - Cherry Chipotle
  •  1 25-ounce bottle of Copperhead Bloody Mary Mix
  •  2 beef bouillon cubes
  •  1 tablespoon cumin
  •  1 tablespoon chili powder
  •  1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  •  1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  •  1 ounce Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 cup water
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  1 tablespoon J. Q. Dickinson Salt
  •  1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


In a large stock pot, add the olive oil and brown one pound ground beef (or other protein of your choice -- see notes below for some other suggestions*). While browning the meat, add all of the spices, including the J.Q. Dickinson Salt.

Adding the spices at this point will help give the meat flavor as well in the finished product. Many home cooks will brown the meat then add the spices later with the liquid, but this will result in a liquid portion that tastes like chili and a protein that just tastes like, well...meat. By seasoning the meat while it browns, you'll have more balance. It also gives you the flexibility to layer the spices as you cook and taste to adjust the spices to your preference.

Once browned, add the two bouillon cubes, a jar of the Cherry Chipotle Blue Smoke Salsa*, the bottle of Copperhead Bloody Mary Mix, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Toss in the bay leaf, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, I think it's always fun to have a small assortment of garnishments to let your friends and family finish it off however they like. Cheese, sour cream, chips, Fritos, raw diced sweet onions, sliced jalapenos...or just eat it as is.


  • This is a “competition style” chili – which by rule doesn’t include beans. If you prefer a homestyle eating chili, you can add one can of kidney beans along with the salsa.
  • In this recipe, I'm using ground beef paired with our Cherry Chipotle salsa. There are obviously many different proteins that work well in chili, and you can compliment those by using a different Gourmet Series salsa. Think about pairing the Blueberry Jalapeno with a venison chili or the Pineapple Habanero with ground pork.

Chef Paul Smith

Executive Chef & Partner - 1010 Bridge Restaurant, The Pitch of West Virginia, and Ellen's Ice Cream

2023 James Beard Award Finalist: Best Chef Southeast US