Wynn Varble’s Fire Station Chili

Wynn Varble HeadshotWynn Varble admits he must have been destined for a career in country music. Wynn was raised in the small town of Ellenwood, Georgia, where music was a central part of his life. He recalls his father’s collection of country LP’s and the hours he spent listening to the legends: Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, and Jimmie Rodgers, whom Wynn credits as being his primary musical influences. He says he did just about anything to hear the newest country record – even if it meant trading in his big brother’s rock albums and catching trouble for it afterwards!

Wynn picked up a guitar for the first time when he was 15 and taught himself to play. “As soon as I learned a few chords, I began to write songs. Willie Nelson taught me the rest from the “Red Headed Stranger” album,” he remembers.

After many years of playing in honkytonks, bars and feed store parking lots, he decided to make the move to Nashville. His first radio single was “Fit To Be Tied Down” by Sammy Kershaw. Since then he has had dozens of hits and three number one songs … including “Have You Forgotten” by Darryl Worley.

“Darryl Worley and I got together to write one morning in late December 2002, and we got to talking about all the people on TV protesting. Somewhere along the way I said, ‘it makes you want to grab one of those protesters and say, have you forgotten what those people did to our country just a little over a year ago?’ He looked at me and said that ‘have you forgotten’ would be a great title. So we started writing, saying just how we felt about it.”

“Darryl performed the song about four days later on the Grand Ole Opry and the response was so great that he went into the studio and recorded it about two weeks later. It became a huge number 1 hit and a career song for Darryl. All because two ole redneck boys got their patriotic feeling hurt by a bunch of protesters on TV!”

Other hits for Wynn include “Waiting On A Woman” by Brad Paisley, and “I’m A Little More Country Than That” recorded by Easton Corbin. Wynn received Nashville Songwriters Association’s Songwriter of the Year Award in 2009, and has three songs on the new Garth Brooks CD “Man Against Machine”, including the current hit single, “Mom”.

Wynn still writes songs everyday and tours extensively … and has not forgotten.

Ingredients

  • 2 large red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bottle beer
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can chicken or beef broth
  • 1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste (or half small can)
  • 3 – 15 oz cans beans - pinto, black or kidney (mixed is better!)

Instructions

Set the EGG for direct cooking at 350°F/177°C.

Grill the poblano, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers on the EGG until nice char marks develop on both sides. Set aside to cool.

Heat oil in the Dutch Oven. Add onion and cook until soft. Add bell pepper and cook until tender. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute. Add the sugar, beer, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to 250°F/121°C.

When the peppers have cooled, chop them up and add to the chili. Add beans and continue to simmer for another hour or until the chili has thickened.

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