Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Recipe: Best-Ever, Texas-Style Chili, 2.0

A while back, I made this chili, and thought it was the best chili ever. I was right then, but in the last few years, I've made a lot of chili and managed to improve on this recipe. So now I am more-right!


I added the diced onion as well as more diced tomatoes and chilies for their chunkiness. (Without them, it felt more like eating a bowl of coney sauce which I didn't especially care for.) Also, using beef broth instead of beer makes this paleo and can even be whole30-compliant (assuming your canned stuff was either compliant or homemade to begin with).

The addition of pumpkin came out of desperation one day because the chili had gotten too spicy for me (I accidentally bought HOT chilies instead of mild) and it was the only neutrally-flavored thing I had on hand. I liked it so much that I've been doing it ever since. It adds bulk, extra veggie-goodness, and an interesting texture that I really enjoy.

So with no further ado: my favorite chili, 2.0.

Best-Ever Texas-Style Chili 2.0
here, "Texas-style" meaning, without beans

2 lbs ground meat (I prefer 1:1 beef and chicken or turkey)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 7-oz can green chilies (I prefer mild)
1 t. dried oregano (I prefer Mexican)
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. ground cumin
2 T. chili powder
1 10-oz can Rotel (I prefer mild)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can pumpkin puree
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
1 14-oz can beef broth (give or take)

In a large pot capable of holding a lot of chili, cook the meat over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain the grease if there's a lot of it (you need a little to cook the onion in though). Add the onion and garlic and cook together with the meat for a few minutes until the onion starts to be come translucent. Add the green chilies and spices* and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the rest of the canned things, using the beef broth to adjust the thickness to your liking. (I usually use the whole can, but you do you.) Continue to cook over medium for about ten minutes, stirring pretty frequently so it doesn't have a chance to bubble too much and glop all over your stove. Reduce to a simmer and let it go, stirring occasionally, for at least half an hour.


Avocado and scallions are good on top too. If you're not into paleo, you can follow my family's tradition and put your chili on top of rice, add some cheese, and eat it with Ritz crackers or Fritos. Or maybe the guy you're dating will come over and bring cornbread he made. :)

*According to America's Test Kitchen, most dried spices release their flavor better in oil than in water, so adding the spices before all the liquid-y things does make a difference!

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