Fall, football, or just when you need some carnivorous comfort food.
Nothing hits the spot on a cold day like a hot bowl of chili. There are as many varieties as chili fans, but the biggest question always seems to be "beans or no beans?" Personally, I am firmly in camp "No Beans" and prefer a big bowl of spicy meaty goodness. Prefer chili with beans? Add a can or two of kidney or black beans along with the beer.
The other question, is what kind of meat? I'm a fan of a variety. Beef, pork, and lamb are all favorites. I like to switch up the combinations a bit, depending on the occasion. As a starting place, here is a basic recipe using ground beef. Change it up as you like!
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 2 medium onions, chopped
· 6 garlic cloves, minced
· 2 green chilies, diced (choose preferred heat level)
· 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
· 2 cans (6 ounces) tomato paste
· 3 tablespoons chili powder
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
· 3 pounds ground beef
· 3 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
· 1 can (12-oz) COOP Ale works DNR
My go-to options for garnish:
· Shredded cheddar cheese
· Sour Cream (or greek yogurt)
· Avocado, sliced
· Fresh diced tomato
· Diced red onion fresh chilies, sliced
· fresh chilies, sliced
· Scallions, chopped
· Cilantro, roughly Chopped
In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste, chili powder, green chilies, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until mixture has begun to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef, and cook, breaking it up with a spoon until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes with their juice, and beer. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a rapid simmer. Cook over medium heat until chili has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Garnish as desired.
For those who have asked about my lower-calorie modifications, here are some great ways to reduce the calorie count, without having to skip the chili altogether.
- Brown 93% lean meat separately, and drain, discarding fat.
- Omit the beer.
- Substitute fat-free Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
- Go light on the cheese, or eliminate altogether.
- While avocadoes do contain fat, it is good fat, so I usually just reduce, not eliminate the avocado in my serving.