When the air hits that certain cold temperature and you can see puffs of breath whenever you go outside, you know it’s time for hearty meals. You know, ones that will warm you from the inside out like stews, roasts, chowders … and also chili.
I love chili. It reminds me of ski lodges, chair lifts and snow covered mountains. When I was younger, I was an avid skier and loved to fold into the lodge between runs for a hot lunch. Among my favorite bits? You guessed it – Chili. I haven’t skied in years, though I would love to.
Anyway, back to the chili. For me, it has to be topped with cheddar cheese and, if it’s spicy, it needs some avocado too. Shawn likes his with a dollop of sour cream and a big sprinkle of cheddar. Paige isn’t yet a big fan of spiciness, but Will loves it, so he gobbles chili right up. Gosh, I hope Paige discovers a love of spiciness soon.
This chili is beanfree and ultra meaty. It has the glorious smokiness of the chipotle peppers, with the slight sweetness of the red onion. When you take a bite, you are hit with those flavors first, and then a hearty sting of spiciness. It’s divine. If you like chili, that is.
What’s your favorite cold-day meal? Share!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb beef stew meat (in chunks)
- 1 red onion, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, plus 1 tsp sauce
- 1 20 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- Garnish: avocado, cheddar cheese, sour cream
- In a large pot, brown the ground beef and the stew meat. Once it's mostly cooked, pour off any excess fat.
- Meanwhile, combine the onion, garlic and chipotle in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until everything is chopped up ultra fine (almost smooth). Add the mixture to the pot and stir to combine with the meat. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water and cumin to the pot. Salt and pepper to your desired taste. Stir and then cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
- Serve, garnished with cheese, sour cream and/or avocado chunks.