When the craving for chili hits, you gotta go with it. Otherwise, it haunts you. There’s nothing in the world that can be substituted.
The process of making chili ranges from complex to very simple. My recipe is in the moderate range. Do a little work upfront, then let it simmer for a while. It’s very customizable (see the Notes and Meal Suggestions). This recipe calls for beef, but you can go with ground turkey (or shredded turkey). You can use pork. You can use chicken. Don’t want beans? Don’t have to have ‘em.
In fact, there is only one, unbreakable rule when it comes to chili-making: do not skimp on the cumin! You can adjust this seasoning, that ingredient, but the cumin is essential.
Once we were at a friend’s for a Super Bowl party. I took one sniff of his chili and knew it would be good. The cumin was right there. He seemed surprised that I knew about the cumin rule. I think he doesn’t get out enough.
A note about heat. My husband loves his food very spicy. I am more of a medium, and this recipe reflects my tastes. As you review the list of ingredients, take your personal tastes into consideration. You can always start on the careful side and adjust the seasonings as you go.
Chili con Carne
By May 12, 2013Published:
- Yield: 4 - 6 Servings
- Prep: 30 mins
- Cook: 2 mins
- Ready In: 32 mins
Chili is a great option for weekend meals or parties. I always make extra because the leftovers are so tasty! I love having a great gluten-free lunch featuring homemade chili!
- 2 - 3 cups chicken stock divided
- 3 - 4 ancho or pasilla chiles stemmed and seeded
- 1 - 2 jalapeno chiles seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin or more, to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds chuck roast, lightly salted, or ground beef cut the chuck into 1
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce finely chopped (see Notes)
- 1 - 2 cups kidney beans soaked for 24-hours, or 1 to 2 cans kidney bean, rinsed and drained, optional for serving
- Salt and pepper as needed
- sour cream, cheese, onions, garnishes as desired
- 1/2 cup masa harina mixed with water to form a thick paste, optional
- Heat the chicken stock to boiling. Put the stemmed and seeded chiles and fresh chiles in the blender. Add one cup of chicken stock (reserve the rest). Let the chiles soak for 10 minutes. Blend until fine. (If you are using chile powder, skip this step.)
- In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to shimmering. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent. Add the cumin and saute until fragrant.
- While the onions are cooking, pat the beef cubes dry. Add the beef and brown thoroughly. Add the garlic in the last two minutes of cooking the meat. Skip this step if you're using a crockpot -- no need to brown your meat in advance.
- Add the blended chiles. Stir thoroughly.
- Add the reserved chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot, and cook for 1 − 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is staring to fall apart. If you're using a crockpot, the cooking time is about 8 hours on low. (See Notes)
- Stir occasionally and taste as the chili cooks — the flavors will develop and meld, and you can adjust the seasonings as this happens. If you desire, add the masa harina paste to thicken up the sauce a bit.
- Check your seasonings one last time. Add salt and pepper if you think your chili needs it. It rarely does.
- Top bowls of chili with a dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheese, and/or diced onions.