I’ll be honest, there are few things out there that I think are better withOUT meat. For me, chilli is one of them. This recipe really doesn’t need meat in my humble opinion. However, if you choose to add some, try adding something more interesting than ground beef. Try kielbasa, chicken, or ground turkey. Watered down, tasteless, ridden with fatty ground beef chili is gross. This recipe is thick, hearty, packed with flavor, and actually quite good for you!
Start by finely chopping up a large onion and add it to a greased, hot large pot. Add about a teaspoon of salt.
When they look like this, add a few gloves of chopped garlic.
Then put in your spices. Adding spices at this phase of the cooking “activates” the flavors like crazy. I added at least a tablespoon or two of chili powder, cumin, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, hot sauce and quite a bit of paprika. My new Slovak friend Lenka gave me some authentic Hungarian paprika which is a brilliant red. If you like the heat, add Cheyenne powder or jalapeno peppers. For an interesting flare, add just a touch of cinnamon and curry powder.
Keep cooking on high heat for a minute or two… and don’t forget to SMELL!
Now you want to deglaze the pan with some kind of liquid. If you have about a cup of beer I prefer that, but I only had red wine which worked well too. If you have none of these things, use water. Let this cook while you work on preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Add about 2 cans of tomato paste and 3 small 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. If you’d like chunks of tomatoes, use the appropriate cut.
Now add the beans. I added a can of black beans, 2 cans of red kidney beans and one large can of pinto beans. Feel free to add any kind of beans you want such as garbanzo or white beans.
Now add 2 chopped up green peppers or any other veggies that need a while to cook. Also add a tablespoon or so of unsweetened dark cocoa and a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.
Let this cook for at least an hour or so. Then add veggies that don’t need long to cook, such as mushrooms and spinach.
This could technically be done in a few minutes, but I recommend letting it simmer on low heat for an hour or so. It really brings all the flavors together like you wouldn’t believe. If you need to stretch it or if you prefer it a little thinner, add some more beer, water, or vegetable stock.
I prefer pairing this meal with a lovely Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse or your favorite wine or beer. Maybe not the healthiest but WOW it’s good! One of my favorite things to do is cook for people while having a glass of something good and listening to music. Mmm!
I can’t imagine chili without sour cream (and crushed Frito chips, but I left those out). This brings the health factor down and fat factor up, so I’m sorry to be a bad influence.
2 Peppers- $1.10
2 Cans of kidney beans- $.98
Large can of pinto beans- $.69
Can of black beans- $.59
2 Cans of tomato paste- $.79
3 Small cans tomato sauce- $1.50
Pot o’ Chili – $7.00
One serving of chili – ~$.70