It’s winter & acting like winter in the midwest, which is
somewhat really annoying. There should be a rule that it can’t snow until the previous snow has melted, especially when it was about 12″.
At least it’s pretty…
But, it technically is still winter, and apparently you can’t control Mother Nature, so we will & did make the most of the snow days. We attempted to teach a 14 month old how to play in the snow (partial success), drank some hot tea (a new, interesting evening habit), watched the 2nd season of Homeland, and, of course, ate a lot of chili (belly = full). It was lovely.
Strangely enough, I didn’t eat chili growing up because I didn’t eat beans. A normal aversion for young people (?), until I realized how ridiculous that was. And my eyes were opened to chili. What a wonderful thing to cook! So many options, twists, flavors! I am sharing “yesterday’s” chili because tomorrow’s version is guaranteed to be different. I’ll have a different mood for flavors and different ingredients on hand. And, that’s the beauty of chili. I’m happy to share this version because it was delicious.
Some changes you may want to be aware of is the balance of seasonings & salt. I rinse the beans & use some low sodium ingredients. I taste throughout the process, too. If you use chili-style beans, you may want to decrease the amount of chili seasoning. Add more beef broth, water or beer as it simmers or to your desired consistency is reached. I actually added the tomato juice at the end because I felt it needed a little more liquid.
The mix-ins are up to you, too. We went with some fusilli pasta, crackers & cheddar cheese (smoked cheddar, of course).
Some people like to have a recipe to follow exactly, or maybe just a recipe to follow for suggestions (like me), so here you go. You won’t be disappointed.
1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced small (2 cups)
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, diced small
1.25 lbs ground sirloin
1/2 lb ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp)
8 – 12 oz dark beer
2 cans tomatoes, chili-style or diced
8oz no-salt tomato sauce
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup water
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
2 cans kidney beans, drained
8oz low-sodium tomato juice
pasta, crackers, chopped Parsley, cheese for serving
- In a large pot, such as a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion & peppers until they begin to soften; add garlic & meat. Break up meat, stir until meat is brown, or about 10 min. Drain fat.
- Add beer, stir & let it reduce for a couple minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, water, seasonings (through ketchup). Simmer 30min to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add beans & continue to simmer & stir 10-15min. Add tomato juice & adjust seasonings to taste (I added a little more black pepper, garlic powder & chili seasoning).
- Serve with whatever fixing’s you prefer! Leftovers taste even better!
*The ingredient options are endless with chili! Besides changing the ratios of the above, you may also try…
- Sub different meats – ground pork, chicken, beef, turkey
- Add bacon!
- Experiment with different peppers
- Use chili-ready beans or mix up the type of beans
- Skip the tomatoes, or try different kinds (e.g. fire-roasted)
- Oregano & basil are great spice additions
- Sweeten it up with balsamic vinegar or sugar
- Go vegetarian or skip the beans
- Chicken chili anyone?