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Best chili recipe?

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#1 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:32 AM

Do you have a favorite chili recipe? I'd prefer one with both beef and beans - kinda spicy but not too crazy. Beef cubes instead of ground are fine. I've been using the Cook's Illustrated recipe below but I'm not satisfied with it:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions
1 red bell pepper, in strips
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 pounds lean ground beef
32 ounces kidney beans, drained and rinsed
28 ounces diced tomatoes, with juice
28 ounces tomato puree
salt, to taste
3 limes, cut in wedges

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add half the beef; cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments if desired.

#2 jennifer

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:05 PM

My friend gave me this one years ago. I think the recipe is at least 30 years old. It's very basic & easy, and has the perfect amount of heat for me. For whatever reason, everyone loves this chili and the pot is emptied in no time whenever I make it. I always make cornbread to go with it.

5 chopped onions
3 lbs. ground beef
60 oz. canned tomatoes
12 oz. tomato paste
1 can beer
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Lg. cans chili beans

Brown beef and onion...add tomatoes (chopped), paste, beer, salt, tabasco, chili powder and beans. Simmer covered 1-2 hours.

Serves 8 – 10

#3 StMaximo

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 07:50 AM

From one of my co-workers. You can put more or less of the cayenne in to control the heat. It has a nice nip at this level, but I like spicy.

This is really good, really easy and really fast.

Easy Red & White Chili

Begin with:
1 ½ lbs Lean Ground Beef
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp. salt
Sauté together until done

1 - 15 oz Can Red Kidney Beans
1 - 15 oz Can White Great Northern Beans
1 - 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 - 15 oz Can Chopped Tomatoes

Season with:
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 cloves crushed garlic

#4 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 12:38 PM

I recently made a Texas Chili (no beans) based on this recipe from egullet. Go to post #19 by Terrie.


Notes: I used chuck. No pre-made chile powders. Used whole dried chilis, anchos and new mexicos quick roasted after seeds and stems removed then ground in a coffee grinder. The chocolate was a high percentage dark kind. Homemade beef broth. Chipotle was canned adobo type.

And letting it age a little in the refrigerator for a day or two helps.

I made a combination of my recipe and Terrie's recipe (linked above). I wanted to use beans so I mostly used mine, but I toasted a couple of dried Anaheim chilis and ground those up with the cumin and other spices (including a quarter cup of Penzey's chili powder and a tablespoon of dried chipotle). I added an ounce of unsweetened chocolate, browned the meat first (chuck in 3/4 inch pieces) before the vegetables and added some dark beer to the pot. It was tasting too hot, so we threw in another can of beans - this time white kidney beans, and that made it more balanced.

The dutch oven has been sitting out in the unheated garage overnight, so I may have to break off pieces of it and heat it slowly for dinner. Oh, I made cornbread too.

#5 jemangepdx

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:06 PM

I recently made this one: Texas Style Chili with Beer I thought it was pretty good! In fact, I'm planning on making it again next weekend.

But I made it with 1/2 the meat listed and I added beans. Obviously, I am not from Texas... :)

#6 Mac_and_cheese

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:31 PM

Cooks Illustrated just posted this recipe:

Our Favorite Chili

#7 eyah

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:30 PM

Thanks for the recipe,it really helps because I need to make a chili recipe for my auntie. She really loves chili food and I will surprised her once I visit her. :D

#8 PDXChilihead

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:56 AM

Bloom your spices overnight!

My favorite way to boost the flavor of your chili is to soak all the spices (chilis, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and whatever else) overnight in beer. By letting the beer flatten out, you keep the beer flavor without the "fizz". More importantly, the carbonation of the beer "blooms" your spices and gives them a jump-start.

Non-alcoholic beer or carbonated water will also work.

#9 Flynn

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:51 PM

Bloom your spices overnight!

My favorite way to boost the flavor of your chili is to soak all the spices (chilis, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and whatever else) overnight in beer. By letting the beer flatten out, you keep the beer flavor without the "fizz". More importantly, the carbonation of the beer "blooms" your spices and gives them a jump-start.

Non-alcoholic beer or carbonated water will also work.

I've found that using a quality chili powder is a bigger step up than grinding the pods or blooming the spices. You do get a nice roasty flavor from grinding the pods, but I don't think it's worth it.

This is the recipe that I've been riffing off for years now: http://www.chili.org/cwest.html

Usual modifications:

1. Double the beef, using chuck. Add 1 lb or so of ground pork.
2. About 1.5 the amount of spices
3. Sub Penzeys ground chipotle for the cayenne, and use more
4. I use 2:1 Penzeys medium hot chili powder to the Chile 3000 they carry. Brightens it up a notch.
5. Add salsa huichol (or Tapatio, etc)
6. Add hominy
7. Thicken up as desired with corn flour.

Top with Fritos, mexican sour cream, diced onion and tomato, cilantro, hot sauce, etc. I'm of the cult that thinks chili should have no beans and vegetables should only be included as toppings.

#10 spyder1

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:57 AM

At parties I have cooked a meat chili and a vegitarian chili. The veggie chili is always the bigger hit!

3 Bean Vegetarian Chili
1 large onion (I prefer a sweet onion)
8 medium cloves of garlic
2 red bell peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
3 14 ½ oz cans of diced tomatoes (with juices)
1 4 ounce can of diced mild green chilies
1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 10 ounce package frozen corn
1 ½ tbsp chopped semi-sweet chocolate
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tsp fresh or bottled lime juice (add more for taste)
2 tsp salt add more for taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper add more if you like spicy

sour cream or yogurt
shredded cheese
diced onions

Coarsely chop the onion and set aside. Chope or mince the garlic and set aside. Chope bell peppers into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

Heat oild in a dutch over or stock pot at medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened, approx 5 minutes.
Add chili powder, cumin, and coriander and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and green chilis and cook, stirring occasionally
for 10 minutes. Add bell pepper, beans, and corn. reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add chocolate and
cilantro and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Adjust seasoning to

Serve and add garnish.

I have also done this in a crock pot. I do the saute part in a skillet and then add it to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Comes out the same!

Also here is my Uncle's 7 hybrid chili. He combined his 7 favorite recipes into one.

From the best of four internet favorites. Makes 8-10 servings.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 lb ground light and dark turkey or 80/20 ground chuck
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
2 tbsp black pepper
1.5 tsp salt (sea salt opt.)
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp ground basil
1 15 oz can petite cut tomatoes with jalapeño peppers
1 15 oz can light red kidney beans with liquid
1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans with liquid
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock (not broth)

4 tbsp fat-free sour cream (optional)
1 small red onion, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp fresh shopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

Heat oil in pot large enough to hold all ingredients. Cook sweet onion, peppers, garlic and celery over medium high heat until tender. Add meat and stir frequently until meat is cooked (no longer pink.)

Stir in all other ingredients except the last 3. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Partially cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.

Although chili can be served immediately it is best refrigerated overnight and reheated

TO SERVE: Top with raw red onion, fat-free sour cream and cilantro or parsley.

#11 MangoFish

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:15 AM

I've had great results making my own chili powder blend:

In a dry pan, I carefully toast about 3 guajollo, 3 ancho, and 2 cascobel peppers (Penzy's). After they cool I grind them to a powder and mix with 2 teaspoons each ground coriander and cumin, a tablespoon of sweet paprika, and 2 teaspoons Penzy's half-sharp paprika. You could use some smoked paprika here as well, if you like smoky flavor. Or chipotle powder.

I know it sounds like a lot of extra work (it's really not), but the flavor difference is incredible. My husband makes all kinds of little moaning noises when he eats it.

The rest of the recipe is pretty standard (browned chuck, onions, fresh peppers, canned tomatoes, beans, etc.). I always wait until the end to adjust seasoning with hot sauce, vinegar, honey, salt, whatever it needs etc., which varies every time I make it (depends on the flavor/variety/ripeness of the veggies, or my mood).

Also, I always make it a day in advance and wait until the next day to eat. Always better!

#12 MangoFish

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:21 AM

On the other side of the chili coin, Giada De Laurentis has a fantastic recipe for White Bean and Chicken Chili.


I've made it many times and its very tasty and really healthy. The only significant modification I've made is to either omit the fennel seeds, or cut it down to just a pinch. A tablespoon seems ridiculous to me, so I'm thinking it's a typo. Or maybe it's just because I'm not fond of fennel. A pinch is more than enough for me.