Chili is the perfect one pot meal for the winter months. It will fill you up and leave you enough to have leftovers for days. One of the best things about chili is that it’s simple to make and there are endless variations. You can use anything from a tomato base to a broth base and can load your chili up with your favorite beans, meat, vegetables and spices. Check out our steps for creating quick and easy chili, and be sure to peruse our recipes for more ideas and chili recipe variations.
- Start with your aromatics. Most chili recipes contain onion, so this is a good place to start (though if you have others you can use those as well). Cook your onion in a few tablespoons of oil in a very large pan. This allows the flavors to be drawn out and the onions to soften.
- At this point you can add any dry herbs that you would like to use to season your meat (I like oregano and cumin in my turkey chili) along with the meat. You can use ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, pork, veal, bison or any other meat you may have. Stir the meat until browned.
- Once your meat is browned, add in the remaining herbs and spices you plan to use.
- Add canned tomatoes (with juice), if using. (I like to use whole canned tomatoes that I allow to heat in the pot and then break up with the back of my spoon)
- Mix in any stocks or soups and any other liquids you may want to include. (Beer is always a nice touch)
- Depending on how thick you like your chili (and if you are creating a red chili), you may want to add tomato paste in order to thicken the chili.
- Simmer your chili and allow to cook for about 35-40 minutes (This will of course vary among recipes).
- At this point you can add any fresh vegetables you may be using (I like zucchini and corn). This will allow them to soften slightly and meld with the flavors of your chili without getting soggy.
- Because I like to use canned beans, I add mine in at the end and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. Again, this may vary between recipes depending what time of beans you use.
A Great Chili Recipe to Try – Black Bean and Sirloin Chili
This delicious chili is made unique with the addition of sirloin and black beans. This is a great chili variation that the whole family will love. Serve this topped with cheddar cheese and onions for a hearty meal.
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 pound boneless sirloin, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
* 2 cup yellow onion, chopped
* 2 tablespoon garlic, minced
* 5 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine
* 1/3 cup Masa Harina (corn tortilla flour mix)
* 1/3 cup plus 1 tsp chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
* 2 teaspoon salt
* 4 cup beef broth
* 2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if canned
* Mild Cheddar, grated for garnish
* Red onion, minced for garnish
1. In a heavy kettle heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Brown the sirloin in batches, transferring it as it is browned with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
2. In the fat remaining in the kettle cook the yellow onion, the garlic and the jalapenos over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the Masa Harina, the chili powder, the cayenne, the cumin, the white pepper, and the salt, and cook the mixture, stirring for 5 minutes.
3. Add the broth and the sirloin and simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
4. Stir in the beans, simmer the mixture for 15 minutes, and serve the chili garnished with the cheddar and the red onion.