There are few better comfort foods during the winter months than a bowl of chili. It feels like it’s been snowing for weeks here, so I yesterday I made a big pot of this, and let it simmer for hours. I also made my own chili seasoning for 2 reasons: 1. I’m not a huge fan of spice, so this lets me control the amount of heat that goes into it (although I think this mix was a good middle ground for both Brad and me); and 2. Pre-packaged seasonings are full of preservatives and other gross stuff, and it’s so much easier, and healthier, to throw a “seasoning packet” together using whatever’s in your pantry.
I’ve made this a couple of times with a few tweaks, but this is going up on the site now because last night, after a couple of bites, I asked Brad what he would change about it. He answered: “I would eat this faster, and with a bigger spoon.” So…I think we’ve found the recipe.
CHILI WITH CHIPOTLE AND LIME (and homemade chili seasoning, too!) Serves 7-10
– 1.25 lbs. ground beef
– 14.5 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
– 14.5 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
– 14.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
– 14.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
– 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
– 14.5 oz can petite cut tomatoes with chipotle chilis (chipotle salsa will also work – use 2 cups of this)
– 6 oz. can tomato paste
– 5 stalks celery, chopped (approx. 2 cups)
– 1 green pepper, diced
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 tsp. chili powder
– 1 tsp. cumin
– Juice of 1/2 lime
– 1 1/2 C. water
– sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, avocado for garnish
HOMEMADE CHILI SEASONING
– 1/2 tsp. cumin
– 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tsp. coriander
– 1 tsp. chili powder
– 1/2 tsp. oregano
– 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
– dash paprika
1. In a large skillet, brown the beef. If it’s lean, you won’t need to drain it, but if it isn’t, drain the excess fat that collects.
2. In a large pot (I used one of my trusty Le Creusets – I really don’t think I’d be able to cook as well without these), heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium high heat. Add the diced celery, green pepper, and onion, add a heavy pinch of kosher salt, and let them sweat for approx. 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the tomatoes & tomato paste, stir to combine, cook another 5 minutes.
4. Combine all the ingredients for the chili seasoning.
5. Add the beans (if you can find them, Eden Organics make one of the best canned products on the market – they are truly organic, their cans are BPA-free, etc.) and meat to the pot with the veggies and tomatoes, mix all of this together. Next, add the chili seasonings. Stir well.
6. Add 1.5 cups water, then stir this all together, cover, and let simmer for approx. 4-6 hours.
7. Just before taking this off the stove, stir in the lime juice, then let sit to combine. Taste, adjust seasonings (I’m a huge fan of adding Herbamare to this – it’s a great, natural blend of sea salt and herbs/minerals – and usually I add about another tablespoon of this to bring everything together), then pour yourself a bowl. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado chunks, scallions, etc.
A small confession – I ate this again for breakfast this morning. So delicious!