Three Chili Recipes: Hearty, Vegan, and Cincinnati-style

Much like stew, chili is a hot, filling meal in itself. Its American origin is traced back to cowboys in the southwest. Lengthy cattle drives inspired the creation of what we now know as chili. After all, isn’t necessity the mother of invention? Rumor has it, the cowboys would plant the herbs, peppers, and onions used in the stew when headed in one direction, then harvest their plantings on their return trip. With chopped beef and a hot fire, chili was invented!

Anyone who enjoys chili probably has a favorite recipe. The perfection of chili is that ingredients can be omitted, added, or doubled to suit your family’s preferences. To get you started, here are three basic recipes for chili. Hearty Chili offers a filling meal with its blend of meat and beans. Vegan Chili is flavorful with its bounty of beans and garden ingredients. Cincinnati-style Chili has plenty of meat and tomatoes, but no beans. With so many options, you can make one of these your new favorite chili or use it as the foundation for your own family recipe. Naturally, these become a completely meal with a side of cornbread.

DSC_0013

 

Hearty Chili (meat & beans)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or ground turkey if you prefer)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

10 ounces canned peeled whole tomatoes

2 cups beef stock

2 cups tomato juice or pasata

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, drained

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, or beer

Toppings: Sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, cilantro leaves, or chives or scallions

1. Over medium heat, warm the oil in a large stockpot. Sauté the chopped onions and chopped bell pepper. Add the ground meat, breaking the meat into small pieces as you stir.

2. Drain any excess fat from the pot after the meat has cooked then add the garlic. Stir the pot contents while adding the canned tomatoes, beef stock, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and beans. Sprinkle in the chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, then stir to blend well. Let the hearty mixture come to a boil.

3. Once the mixture has come to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cover the pot. If you prefer using a slow cooker for the simmering, transfer the ingredients carefully just after they begin to boil.

4. Stir in the dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, or beer at this point, if you’d like. Any one of these will bring a rich depth to the flavour of the chili. It is especially helpful if you skipped the bell peppers or Worcestershire sauce. I usually omit both and include dark chocolate and molasses.

5. Let the chili simmer on medium-low for at least 1 to 2 hours, to allow it to thicken. Stir regularly so the ingredients at the bottom don’t overcook. This is a good time to test out your elbow-length oven mitts since the mixture is very hot.

6. Serve the chili in a wide mug or over a baked potato. For added flavor, top each serving with a dollop sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro leaves, chives or scallions, and/or shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.

 

DSC_1019

Vegan Chili (no meat, just beans)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, drained

1/2 cup dry red lentils

10 ounces canned peeled tomatoes

1 cup tomato juice or pasata

2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 tablespoons vegan dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, or vegan beer

Toppings: Vegan yogurt or sour cream, shredded vegan cheese, or chives or scallions

1. Add the oil to a stockpot warming over medium-low heat. Sauté the chopped onions and chopped bell pepper until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic to cook for another minute after reducing the stove to low heat.

2. Sprinkle the chili powder and black and cayenne peppers over the sautéed ingredients. Spoon the beans and red lentils into the pot then add the canned tomatoes. Stir the mixture to blend all the ingredients and flavors together completely. Pour the juice and broth into the pot and bring to a boil.

3. Then turn heat down to medium-low. At this point, if you wish to simmer the chili in a slow cooker, transfer the ingredients to that pot.

4. Stir in the dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, or beer at this point, if you’d like. Any one of these will bring a rich depth to the flavour of the chili. It is especially helpful if you skipped the bell peppers.

5. Let the chili simmer on medium-low for at 1 hour to allow it to thicken. Stir regularly so the ingredients at the bottom don’t overcook. This is a good time to test out your elbow-length oven mitts since the mixture is very hot.

6. Serve the chili in a wide mug or over a baked potato. For added flavor, top each serving with a dollop sour cream and sprinkle with chives or scallions and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.

 

DSC_0012

Cincinnati-style Chili (no beans, just meat)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds lean ground beef (or ground turkey if you prefer)

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

10 ounces canned peeled tomatoes

10 ounces undiluted tomato soup

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

3 cups beef stock

1 cup tomato juice

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To serve with: Spaghetti (Two Way), cheddar cheese (Three Way), and/or chopped onions (Four Way).

1. Warm a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the oil and brown the ground meat and chopped onions. As you cook, break up the meat into small pieces.

2. When the meat is cooked, drain any excess fat from the pot and add the garlic. Stir the ingredients to blend while adding the canned tomatoes, tomato soup, vinegar, beef stock, tomato juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle in the chili powder, black and cayenne peppers, and cinnamon then let the contents of the pot come to a boil.

3. Once the mixture has come to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the chili simmer for at least 1 to 2 hours, to allow it to thicken. Stir regularly so the meat on the bottom doesn’t become overcooked. If you prefer using a slow cooker for the simmering, transfer the ingredients carefully just after they begin to boil. This is a good time to test out your elbow-length oven mitts since the mixture is very hot.

4. Stir in the dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, or beer at this point, if you’d like. Any one of these will bring a rich depth to the flavour of the chili. It is especially helpful if you skipped the bell peppers or Worcestershire sauce.

5. Let the chili simmer on medium-low for at least 1 to 2 hours, to allow it to thicken. Stir regularly so the ingredients at the bottom don’t overcook. This is a good time to test out your elbow-length oven mitts since the mixture is very hot.

6. To serve the chili Cincinnati style, serve over spaghetti (Two Way), topped with your favorite cheddar cheese (Three Way) and chopped onions (Four Way). Shown below in this photo from Breville.

Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili 5of5

2 comments

Leave a Reply