After making chili on the fly over the years, adding whatever I had on hand without stopping to measure ingredients, I decided one day to slow down and record my method. My note-taking paid off when my youngest daughter (most sensitive to spicy foods) announced that it was perfect. I have been making it ever since and even texted the ingredients to my older daughter when she was studying abroad in France and craving a little chili from home. Who knew you could grow tired of French cheese and pastries?? This chili recipe makes plenty to share with friends for a get-together or enjoy the leftovers for an easy mid-week meal.
Our Favorite Chili
- 5 to 8- quart pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 2 pounds ground beef preferably 80 to 90 percent lean (see NOTE)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 2 large bell peppers, chopped red, green and/or yellow
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, preferably petite diced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with either chipotle or green chilies
- 1/3 cup red wine optional
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- Hot cooked macaroni noodles if desired
- shredded Mexican blend cheese
- sour cream
- oyster crackers
- chopped fresh cilantro
- sliced ripe black olives
- diced ripe avocado
- Heat olive oil in a large (5 to 8-quart) pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add ground beef (in batches if necessary so not to crowd in the pan) and cook, breaking up into bite-sized crumbles, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. (If cooking in batches, remove first batch of cooked beef, drain and discard fat and then cook remaining beef.) Carefully drain and discard fat from pan. Return cooked beef to pan and add garlic, all the peppers, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring, until peppers start to soften and spices are slightly fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, wine (if using), tomato paste and water, stirring to combine the paste with the liquid. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add black beans and continue to simmer, partially covered (see NOTE), until chili is the desired thickness 10 to 20 minutes longer.
- Serve chili with cooked macaroni noodles, if desired, and your favorite toppings.
- Makes about 12 cups
Thank you God for the abundance that we often experience around our tables and in our lives. When we have more than we need, help us to share that abundance with those who experience poverty and emptiness rather than fullness and plenty. Lead us and guide us to our neighbors in need and open our hearts to compassionate conversation that helps unite us all as sisters and brothers.