Saturday, February 22, 2014

My weekend chili

I make this chili on Saturday or Sunday and we have leftovers all week long.  It's great for taking in lunches.  This recipe makes a LOT and I've never tried to cut the recipe down.  I just put the leftover in jars in the fridge and we eat it over the next week or so.  It heats up great.  I use lemon and lime juice because I like a lot of citrus in my chili.  The peppers are seasonal, but usually spicy.  If you prefer mild chili, just use mild peppers.

chili spice

3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried ancho pepper
1 teaspoon salt


3lbs ground meat.  I usually use 80-20 ground beef, but I've used a lot of others as well.  Never tried this one with chicken though.


2 16 oz cans black beans or the equivalent from dried (cuts the sodium down a lot)
2 16 oz cans dark red kidney beans or the equivalent from dried.

Basically you want a lot of beans.  Those are the ones I usually use, but sometimes it depends on what is on sale.  Don't use dry beans that have not been soaked.  I said FROM dried, not STILL dried.  I guess you could use them if you add a lot more water and are cooking it over a long time period.  I've never tried it though.


1 large onion diced
2 lemons - sliced.  They will be cooked in the chili but removed before serving
An assortment of fresh seasonal spicy peppers.  I use about 15 peppers.  Jalapenos, poblano, chilis and some thai peppers I picked up at the market.  The amount and variety really depends on what the market has
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow  bell pepper, diced
2 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic


Canned tomato products

1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
2 large cans crushed tomatoes


Other stuff

2 large jars of your favorite corn/bean salsa or make salsa from scratch and add that if you have the time.
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups water

heavy whipping cream - you'll use this when serving, 1 teaspoon per bowl


really big skillet
very big pot.  I use an 18 quart stock pot with a lid


In the skillet

melt the butter and saute the spicy peppers and garlic.  I cut the garlic up into little bits, but leave the peppers in large pieces because not everyone in my family likes them and that way they can pull them out and leave them for me.  :-)

When the peppers are cooked remove them from the heat and put them in the pot.  Next toss the meat in the skillet with the chili spice ingredients and brown it.  I like to drain some of the fat from it.  3lbs is a lot of meat, so you might want to divide everything up into two batches if your pan isn't big enough.  

Dump everything else into the big pot.  Add the meat and peppers cooked earlier. Stir it all together and cook.  I bring it to a boil and then turn it down and let it simmer un-covered for about an hour or longer, until it has reached the thickness I want, then I keep it covered and just enough heat to keep it warm.  Stir occasionally to keep it from settling and keep the flavors mixing well.  

When you're ready to serve, remove the lemon pieces - honestly I do this as I'm serving.  I don't have the time to hunt around in there for them.

In each bowl add a teaspoon of heavy whipping cream.  I used to use sour cream and it does work wonderfully, but one day I was out and tried this.  I liked the addition, so it's my new way.  My kid still tops it with sour cream and cheese.  

Some days I substitute other salsas for the corn/bean one, but I really do prefer it.

this is without the cream for serving because not everyone does that

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