Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basic Chili

The following is a very flexible recipe for a hearty, rich tasting chili. Feel free to substitute in and out ingredients to your preference using whatever is available at your farmer's market or provided in your CSA box.  

3 lbs. grass-fed ground beef, try this
2 tbsp. ghee, try this, or make your own
1 large onion, diced
1 cup chopped bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken stock (or turkey or beef)
About 15 to 25 ounces of tomatoes, *see comments below
About 3 to 4 cups of cooked beans, any mix; for the best health benefit, soak your beans!
Garnishes to your taste (chopped onions, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, etc.)

Seasonings (all divided):
5 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chipotle chili powder
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. oregano
4 tbsp. cocoa
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Spicy seasonings (optional) to your taste, we will add some homemade Tobasco or hot pepper powder sometimes

How To:
1. Brown the ground beef (over medium heat) with onion, garlic, and peppers. Season the ground beef with 2 tbsp. cocoa,  and 1 tbsp. each of oregano, cumin, paprika, and chipotle chili powder as well as salt and pepper to taste. Add ghee. Cook about 5-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned.

2. Add tomatoes and broth. Season with remaining spices, being sure to taste as you add. Simmer for 20 minutes or longer.

Chili is one of our favorite go-to meals. It is so easy and extremely versatile (think chili dogs, chili burritos, chili nachos). It's also great for husband to take as a lunch and awesome to freeze. You could halve this recipe, but seriously, make it all and freeze for dinner another day. Try making with Buttermilk Biscuit Rolls (see variation) or Pumpkin Cornbread.

You'll want a little advance preparation to soak your beans (like 24-36 hours), but once you have that out of the way, the rest of this does not take too long to do. I will often let it simmer for a total of 2-3 hours, although you don't need to  simmer it for that long. This recipe makes a lot (remember, three pounds of ground beef), I'm thinking you could get about 3 or 4 nights of dinner for a family of four, just depending on how much your family eats, so you'll definitely want to freeze some of it.

*Keep in mind 4 liquid cups is 32 ounces so you can use garden tomatoes if you have them. We canned all our remaining garden tomatoes recently and will use those tomatoes as long as we can. Otherwise, Pomi Tomatoes (non-BPA) are great in a pinch. Increase or decrease the amount of tomatoes and stock depending on how thick you would like your chili. 

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  1. What about Old El Paso chili topping? I like it.

    1. I don't think I've had that but you'll have to let me know how it works. :)


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