I’ve been honing this recipe for a few years and it is finally at the point where I can call it my ideal chili. The meatiness you expect from chili is balanced with beans, mostly because I love them so much, but also to make it healthier and more economical. (And when you’re using less meat, you can buy the really good stuff.) I realize to some of you the addition of beans disqualifies this as a chili, but I grew up in the Northeast where we put beans in our chili (if we want to) and still call it chili, and sugar in our cornbread.
There are multiple heat sources to provide a present but not overwhelming spiciness, and the perfect richness from tomatoes and tomato paste. I’ve made this including everything I could possibly want to be in chili, but that does make for a long ingredient list and some things could certainly stand to be substituted or left out (see head note).
Besides a life long love of chili (especially after ski days), I needed to get this in writing because my Dad asked me to teach him how to cook it. We are just about at the point of independence, and this posting should be a nudge to go forth on your own. It’s his favorite chili too, and hopefully will be yours.
Serves 8. Adapted from Rachael Ray.
This is a flexible recipe. Use any combination of beef, pork/sausage, chicken, or turkey. Or leave them out entirely and double the beans. A bell pepper will do if poblano are not available; red, white, or yellow onion; any combination of black, pinto and kidney beans. If the chipotles were replaced with fresh jalapenos, or the tomato paste or Worcestershire was left out, the world would not end.
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork or sausage
- 2 poblano peppers (or 1 bell pepper)
- 1 onion (about 1.5 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1.5 teaspoons cumin
- 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 chipotles en adobo
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup milder beer, such as an amber, wheat, or brown ale (Dos Equis works nicely)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1.5 cups cooked black beans (1 15.5- oz can)
- 1.5 cups cooked kidney beans (1 15.5- oz can)
- sweetened cornbread or tortilla chips
- shredded cheese
- chopped onion
- sour cream or yogurt
Dice the onion and poblano. Mince the garlic cloves and chipotle en adobo (but keep them separate).
Heat a large pot over medium high and brown the beef and pork while breaking it up with a spoon. When the meat has turned from pink to brown and there are perhaps a few bits sticking to the pot, add in the onion and poblano. Stir to combine, and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is becoming translucent and the peppers are softening.
Add the garlic, cumin, and chili powder and stir to combine. When you can smell the garlic, add in the chipotle en adobo, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Stir to combine again, and saute for a couple minutes.
Add the beer, and cook for another minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, and then clean out the cans by pouring the beef stock into them, swishing it around, and then pouring the stock into the pot. Add in the beans. Stir to combine everything, and cover. When it starts to bubble, turn the heat to medium low, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. When the consistency is where you like it (I go for a thicker chili), taste for seasoning and adjust.
Serve with sweetened cornbread or tortilla chips, shredded cheese, chopped onion, and sour cream or yogurt.