Chili, My Way
You know what I love about chili?
It’s ridiculously easy and just about impossible to screw up. It’s infinitely customizable to your tastes. There are about a million ways to make chili, and they’re all the right way. You can cook it on the stove or in a slow cooker, for 30 minutes or 3 hours. You can make it with or without beans, with or without meat. It can be insanely spicy or milder than a sunny Spring day. Really, there’s no wrong way to make chili.
You know what else I love about chili?
It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods. Chili is practically guaranteed to warm you up from your head to your toes on a cold winter night. Plus, you can make a huge batch and eat the leftovers for days, because chili only gets better with age. (Right up until it goes bad, that is. Don’t eat spoiled chili. I do not love that.)
Chili. It’s pretty great right? You should make some. This is how I make mine.
Chili, My Way
Adapted from Southern Living
Because chili is so flexible, I never make it the same way twice. This is a base recipe that I adjust to my taste and whims. Adjust the amount of liquid (beer and broth) based on cooking time and consistency preference. I like thick chili, so to only cook it for about an hour I use 1/2 of both the beer and the broth. Use any beer you like in the chili. If you don’t like beer, don’t worry, you won’t taste it. You can replace the beer with beef broth if you prefer. This chili is just slightly spicy.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 to 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
salt, to taste
1/2 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large deep pot* over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and garlic to skillet, breaking the meat into crumbles. Cook until beef is browned and no longer pink.
Add remaining ingredients, starting with 1/2 beer and broth amounts and adjusting seasoning to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours. Add remaining liquids if needed as the chili cooks.
Serve hot topped with cheese and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
*Alternately, to make this recipe in a slow cooker, cook the onions, beef, and garlic in a large skillet on the stove. Add meat mixture to slow cooker and combine with remaining ingredients. Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for 4-8 hours, or until ready to serve.