We are squarely in that time of year when the winter chill has set in and comfort foods – soups and stews, chili, and rich pasta dishes – are what I reach for again and again. After all of the indulgence of the holidays, this chili is a great balance of healthy(-ish) and hearty.
I’ve been making a version of this chili for years. It started with a recipe from the great Ellie Krieger (find the original here), and over the years has morphed into something a little spicier and a little richer, without totally sacrificing the nutrition. My husband likes it served with generous amounts of shredded sharp cheddar and some sour cream. I think it’s great on it’s own. It freezes well and keeps, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.
Most chili recipes are fairly flexible and can be adjusted to fit your personal and family tastes. If you’re nervous about the heat from the chipotle peppers, remove the seeds but don’t eliminate the peppers entirely. They give a beautiful, rich, and almost smoky flavor that is really worth trying. I also recommend taking the extra time to puree whole, canned tomatoes instead of using the more typical crushed tomatoes. I particularly love Muir Glen Fire Roasted San Marzano style tomatoes, but if you’re wanting to save time and dishes, go ahead with regular crushed tomatoes.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 2 heaping teaspoons cumin
- 16 ounces lean ground beef (grassfed, organic if possible)
- 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce (from canned chipotle in adobo)
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 16 ounces good stout beer (I prefer Guinness)
- 1 (28 ounce) can of whole, fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven
- Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper and saute until just softened, about 10 minutes
- Add the cumin and stir until fragrant, about one minute.
- In the same pot, brown the ground beef until no longer pink.
- Add the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, removing the seeds if you prefer less spice.
- Puree the tomatoes in a blender and add to the chili mixture.
- Mix in the oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow to simmer, partly covered, approximately 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove the lid and stir in the beans. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning and serve with your favorite toppings.
What are your go-to comfort foods in the winter?