football chili season! On any given sunday afternoon during this time of the year, you can bet that our T.V. is tuned to a football game – John either lounging on the sofa or fist-pumping the air. I admit that I’m not a huge fan of watching the games in their entirety, nor do I have a die-hard allegiance to any one team. What I do get excited about is starting a big pot of chili mid-afternoon and enjoying the spicy aroma wafting throughout the apartment for the remainder of the day.
I named this “Fiery Red Chili” because of the multitude of red (ground beef, red bell pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce, red kidney beans) and spicy (serrano & jalapeno peppers, red pepper flakes) ingredients. Most of you are aware that I don’t often cook with red meat, but when I do I have two guidelines that I follow: use the highest quality & humanely-raised meat that I can find and use it more as a flavor element than as the main ingredient. Specifically, I stick with grass-fed beef (which I usually buy at Whole Foods) and use half as much as a typical recipe would call for. By using these techniques, I’m not only supporting a more humanitarian approach to raising cattle, but am also feeding my husband and myself a healthier meal.
Now, this chili is on the thicker side. I prefer my chili to be more stew-like, but if you like your chili soupy, simply include the liquid that the beans come canned in rather than rinsing and draining the beans. If you do this, it is especially important to buy low-sodium beans because the liquid is where most of the salt resides.
The only thing this chili needs is a thick square of cornbread… the recipe of which I will be posting shortly!
Fiery Red Chili
yields 4 servings
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, chopped (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 large serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and minced (about 2-3 Tbsp, or to taste)
- 1/2 pound 85/15 or 90/10 lean ground beef (or ground buffalo), preferably grass-fed
- 1 red bell pepper, preferably organic, seeded and chopped
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos OR green chiles
- 1 (8 oz) can low-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 (16 oz) can low-sodium red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp Kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground oregano
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- dollop of plain 2% Greek yogurt
- sprinkling of grated 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- sliced green onions
- cornbread (we like to mound the chili on top of a piece)
- drizzle of hot sauce
- chopped avocados
- Heat a drizzle of oil in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic & serrano, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add in the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with accoutrements.