Something would feel really wrong if I wasn’t eating a bowl of chili while watching the Super Bowl, even if I have no vested interest in either of the teams playing (which is usually the case.) This has been my standard chili recipe for the past few Super Bowl parties we’ve hosted. There are no crazy ingredients that are impossible to find, it comes together quickly, and it’s relatively stress-free to make when you’re making a bunch of other stuff at the same time. It has served me well, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be retiring this recipe after this next party. I’d like to trade in the ground beef for something chunkier and swap the quick cooking-time for something that gives more complicated flavors time to develop.
The original recipe appears here, and I’ve made very few adjustments. Sauté about a cup each of onions, carrots, and bell peppers together in olive oil until they become soft (about 10 minutes.) Add 2-3 teaspoons of cumin and cook a few additional minutes. This step initially confused me, but good ol’ google revealed that heating the dry cumin powder can help it develop its flavor, similar to curry powder.
Add a pound of ground beef to the mixture and brown. At this point, the original recipe instructs you to add 2 cups of water. Adding water to most recipes always seems like a waste to me because you could be adding more flavors to whatever you’re making instead. This time around, I just added the beer I was drinking at the time as a replacement, but in the past I’ve also added beef stock.
Add a can of crushed tomatoes and then some seeded and minced chipotle peppers from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. About 1 and ½ peppers is a happy balance for me and my boyfriend, who tends to like things on the less sweat-inducing side of the spice scale (which is a totally fictional scale that lives in my mind.) Also, add some of the adobo sauce from the can into the chili for flavor. Simmer this mixture together for about 30 minutes. Taste, and add oregano, salt, and pepper. If it tastes a little bland at this point, keep adding salt.
Add a can each of RINSED AND DRAINED black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. The goop that collects at the bottom of the bean can contains un-digestible starches, and they’d be happy to take your intestines on a wild ride. Simmer this mixture for an additional 20 minutes, and you have yourself a heaping pot of spicy chili. Make sure to taste your stuff throughout this process. I found that it needed a lot of salt, some additional cumin, and the adobo sauce from the can was also a really helpful spice to have on hand. HELPFUL HINT: Don’t touch your eyes. Ever. It’s gross. Especially don’t touch your eyes at any point in time after handling chipotle peppers. Some people wear gloves when working with chilies to avoid burning the butt out of themselves, so make sure you wash your hands exceptionally well after touching any kind of chili pepper.
This makes a pretty satisfying winter meal in general, and leftovers the next day almost taste better than the initial pot of chili.