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Chili - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (October 2013)

Welcome to the reporting thread for the October 2013 Dish of the Month. This month we will be making Chili (or Chile). There are no constraints on the type of chili - with beans, without beans, ground meat, chunks of meat, no meat. I'm sure we'll have as many different recipes as we have participants. And as many different opinions about what is the real thing.

You can view the short and sweet voting thread here:

The nomination thread also includes an index of all prior Dish of the Month threads. You can view it here:

When you are reporting on a chili recipe, please remember to paraphrase if it is not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Photos are always welcome. If you think chili is not too photogenic, feel free to share picture of your mise en place.

All are welcome to join in. If you haven't participated before, or if you've been lurking, please jump right in. Feel free to ask questions too.

Time to get out our cauldrons and start making chili!

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  1. It hit 83 here today, nowhere near what I consider to be "chili weather." Maybe a few weeks from now, but right now it's still all about tomatoes, corn, eggplant, and peppers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      I don't know, I rather think chili can go either way. Sure it's cozy to have a pot simmering away on a cold day, but when I picture it, I see chili in colorful bowls on a picnic table in the back yard. I think it's great in warm weather too. And if you're not a chili purist, there's plenty of recipes for summer vegetable versions.

    2. Gosh I totally missed the final voting around! Stupid work. But that being said, I'm excited about this, I hope I can find some weekend time to make a big vat of it to eat throughout the week since my work schedule probably won't let up for awhile. Chili (beanless!) and cornbread is one of my favorite things to eat.

      1. this thread might be helpful to those who made their chili too spicy

        2 Replies
        1. re: jpr54_1

          It was 80 in Boston today. Usually don't make chili till Nov but since mine is killer ill make some if I have a chance. I don't have a recipe so will have to create one as I go along.

          1. Woohooo! Chili! I can't wait .. I'm freezing already so this is a good thing. I'm going to experiment with beanless chili.

            1. I have some too lean ground beef in the freezer (about a pound) so hopefully something here will inspire me.

              1. Note to chili makers: Whatever your favorite recipe, use beer and Bloody Mary mix for your liquid.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Gail

                    Heh. My liquid is beer and leftover coffee. I'll post the whole recipe when I make it later this month.

                  2. Are you sure this is the first time chili made it to the DOTM?
                    I may have posted this before. Have been making chili since I was 19 and have evolved into this recipe, reminiscent of my Michigan raised mother's but she used cubed bottom round and baked beans. Whenever I try to change this version, it is booed down.
                    Brown a large chopped onion in bacon fat and while it is cooking mix in a crumbled pound of ground beef. Near the end of the browning add 1 or 2 spoons of chili powder. Since I have discovered Penzey's I always use their Chili Con Carne powder. Often I add a dash of Ancho and or Cumin and always finish with Lawry's Garlic salt. Be sure it isn't to greasy and spoon off surplus if you think it's to fatty for your taste. Then stir in a 15 oz can of stewed or chopped tomatoes and a little water. Depending on how tomatoey it looks I might add a can of tomato sauce, Goya if possible. Cook for about 10 minutes and add a can of drained pinto beans. After another 15 minutes covered on a low heat it's ready.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Berheenia

                      It is indeed the first time for chili. You can see all of our prior dishes in this post:

                      Your chili recipe reminds me a bit of the one my mom always made, and subsequently, I always made. And same reaction, no one wanted it changed at all!

                    2. Vegetable Chili - from "The New Basics Cookbook"

                      I made this last Sunday and had it for dinner the next three nights. This has been my "go to" chili recipe for more than 20 years. I always make it a couple of times each year. I've made two minor changes to the recipe over the years. It calls for 3/4 cup of olive oil. That is way more than you need; I use half that amount. It also calls for 1 cup of garbanzos and 1 cup of kidney beans. I use a whole 15 oz can of each, which works out to be a little over 1.5 cups of each.

                      I'm not vegetarian, but I like this chili better than most chili with meat. It is very hearty. The variety of spices (including some unusual ones for chili like fennel seeds and fresh dill) really gives it great flavor. I used Penzey's medium chili powder and with that, the chili does have a decent amount of heat to it. The only downside to this chili is that it doesn't freeze that well; the texture isn't the same after freezing.

                      I found a copy of the recipe here:

                      1. FINALLY...A CATEGORY FOR ME!

                        I tried a new method of making Texas-style chili today. BTW, chili is an all year round comestible. IT IS NOT ONLY FOR SEASONS OF COOL OR COLD OUTDOOR TEMPERATURES.

                        Do not look for beans as an ingredient!

                        My 26 year-old grandson inspired this preparation. It is a lengthy process that only one obsessed with chili would try. I braised a chuck roast at 200 degrees over night for 7 hours. Doing it over night prevents me from pacing the floor waiting for the braise to be finished.The braising liquid was a 12-ounce bottle of beer.

                        When the roast was cool it was shredded and chopped. BTW, I never use ground beef. The liquid was reserved in glass jars and cooled in the fridge to allow the fat to solidify at the top. The meat was then refrigerated while the fat solidification was taking place.

                        Home grown chile pods (hot peppers to those unfamiliar with that designation) were diced along with onions. These 2 aromatics were sauteed with canola oil in a 5 quart cast iron Dutch oven along with several cloves of minced garlic.

                        A puree of made of rehydrated chiles (guajillos, pasillas, and dried chipotles) along with fresh bhut jolokia pods (ghost peppers) was added to the pot. Also several ground chile powders (not supermarket chili powder) obtained from Pendery's of Fort Worth, and cumin were tossed in for good measure before pouring the defatted braising liquid and the chopped beef were added.

                        This concoction was allowed to simmer for about an hour before Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens, a verbena), not Mediterranean oregano, was added. The Mexican stuff is quite aromatic.

                        Note that no salt or ground black pepper were included as ingredients. They are not needed because of the flavor imparted by the extremely pungent chiles, cumin and Mexican oregano.

                        The finished product was stored in plastic containers recycled from supermarket salads. Each container holds one large bowlful of chili, a meal for one person. The chili is eaten for lunch (I'm retired) or dinner when my wife has been to lunch with neighborhood group of friends. She is usually not up to eating a meal after such an occasion.

                        BTW, my wife does not eat my chili because of the extreme spiciness.

                        Buon appetito!!!

                        Please note the 1st 5 letters of my user name.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ChiliDude

                          sounds delicious-but a little too spicy for me

                          1. re: jpr54_1

                            I did not grow up eating this kind of stuff, and my late mother thought I was crazy. I'm in my 8th decade of life, and developed a tolerance for this spicy stuff over many years.

                            I do not eat the extremely pungent chiles by themselves. They are always an ingredient in a preparation. I have not become that crazy.

                          2. re: ChiliDude

                            It does sound wonderful. I notice the plural "s" on your ghost peppers. How many do you use? Can other people eat your chili? I am a hot-spice-lover, but I'd be wary of this!

                            I'm curious as to what makes chili Texas style. Is it just the absence of beans? Or the meat not being ground?

                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                              Thanks for the input. I sparingly use ghost peppers. A 26-ounce wide mouth jar is filled with the puree. Only 3 defrosted ghost peppers are added to a large number of rehydrated chiles. An immersible blender is used to make the puree directly in the jar (from Smucker's peanut butter) to minimize the loss of product upon completion.

                              Olive oil and vinegar are added to the chiles during the process. Altho I do not like to do this only a little vinegar is added to prevent mold from growing. The very 1st time I made the puree it got moldy because there was no acid. That doesn't happen any more.

                              Yes, Texas style is without beans in the chili. Beans can be served as a side dish known as 'frijoles refritos' (fried beans).

                              I like beans a lot, but I do not put them in chili. I use lots of beans in my cholesterol lowering breakfast of 'arrabbiato minestone denso' (spicy thick soup translated from the Italian). For some reason Italians use the word for 'angry' (arrabbiato) to indicate spicy.

                              At one time I would cube meat for chili, but as I mentioned, my grandson made it with shredded beef and I liked it.

                            2. re: ChiliDude

                              That sounds like a good bowl of chili, though I'm surprised by the lack of salt. I'm Indian, and like spicy food, but I find saltiness and spiciness pretty orthogonal (i.e. more of one doesn't make up for less of another).

                              What kind of beer do you use?

                              1. re: ChiliDude

                                Sounds good to me Chili, bring it on.

                              2. Here in Central Texas it is always chili time. My recipe involves cubing a brisket, browning the cubes with minced onion in bacon fat, the WF like combination of chili powder, Mexican oregano, garlic, and cumin, additional hot peppers to taste, the tiniest smidge of tomato sauce, and a few glugs of bourbon. I have also learned that instead of jacking with the chili if you made it too hot for somebody, serve a mango cream cheese gelatin mold as a second side with the corn bread.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: tim irvine

                                  I live on the East Coast, and it is always chili time here as well.

                                  1. re: ChiliDude

                                    I live in the SW and SO had requested chili and my reaction was WTH? It's hitting near 100 during the day! But I did indeed come up with chili - I hit the Hispanic market and loaded up on ground beef, red peppers, canned beans simply marked "Pinto Beans", some cumin and chili powder, onions and garlic. It simply rocked! We (I) have it for breakfast with a tortilla and some cheese, it's entirely too hot, temperature wise by dinner time.

                                2. I've got everything on hand to make this wonderful Chicken White Bean Chili http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/white...

                                  and also our favorite "traditional" MW version -- ground beef / onion/ green pepper / tomatoes / kidney beans / chili powder -- that simmers 3 hours.

                                  Corn bread will be baked as the side for either.

                                  Now I just need to toss a coin to decide which one gets made tomorrow.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                    The ground beef/tomato version won the toss. I used my Bundt cupcake pan for the cornbread, with one mini-cake side pan for the remaining batter. Great that it was cool enough to heat up the large oven for the cornbread; it bakes better in a heavy pan but those won't fit in my toaster oven.

                                    Let's see whether I can give you photos.

                                  2. I confess, I've never made chili. I always disliked it growing up, because I dislike beans... always have. But, as I've reached adulthood, I've ready about beanless chilis, just never got around to trying it. But tonight I did. I used this recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/11372-chi... since I didn't have time to go to the mexican market to buy chiles to use in a more authentic version. I had cornbread muffins on the side, and I topped mine with shredded cheddar. SO did cheddar and sour cream.

                                    Overall my impression was... it's good but not really something I'll want all the time. This version has some decent spice to it. I think I'd actually like it better mixed with pasta or something, which I might do with the leftovers that I plan on freezing. SO wanted beans in it.

                                    I'll try chili again sometime with cubed up beef, or if my SO's hunting trip later this month is fruitful... with elk or venison.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      A chunk of beef chili on a well constructed nacho is a thing of joy.

                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                        Yes! I figured I can come up with many uses for the 5 cups of leftover chili throughout the next few months. Nachos, baked potatoes, hot dogs, pasta... possibilities are endless! I froze them in 1 cup containers so it'll be easy to defrost.

                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                          You can serve it in an open bag of Fritos, garnished with cheese etc. Just saw this at a local fair but they hadn't started serving before I had to leave. Always thought this was a cool idea for outdoor food.

                                      2. re: juliejulez

                                        If you wish to have your chili mixed with pasta, look up a recipe for Cincinnati chili.

                                        I don't wish to have pasta with my chili. My wife of 53+ years is of Italian descent, and I've seen enough pasta for 3 life times.

                                        I admit that I am a chilihead, chilehead, and a chili snob. I'm so obsessed with it that my auto license reads "TX CHILI" and I live on the East Coast.

                                        1. re: ChiliDude

                                          Yeah I'm just trying to think up of ways to use up the leftover chili that's now taking up room in the freezer. I figure mixing it with pasta would make it sort of Hamburger Helper-esque?

                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                            Chili dogs
                                            Baked potato topping
                                            Over a hamburger patty (if meatless)

                                            1. re: Gail

                                              Yup mentioned those upthread :)

                                            2. re: juliejulez

                                              Actually Julie - we use leftovers like sloppy joes - always excellent!

                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                One of my favorite ways is a chili cheese omelette.

                                            3. re: juliejulez

                                              That looks very similar to most of the chili recipes I've tried (and been disappointed by). The thing is I've had very good chili con carne before so I know there are better recipes out there and I'm hoping posters here can lead me in the right direction. FWIW I recall making a batch of chili with Negra Modelo and chipotles last year that I liked but I don't remember where I stored the recipe. D'oh!

                                            4. I've been making chili from scratch since high school and I'm in my young 50's now. (Also, I'm in Texas, so it's sort of a birthright.)

                                              My standard chili:

                                              One to two pounds of ground meat, (80/20).
                                              Half of a large onion, roughly chopped
                                              Two cloves of garlic
                                              One can of Ro-Tel Tomatos, (Chopped tomatoes with green chilis)
                                              Chili Powder, (Gebhardt's preferred)
                                              Mexican Oregano

                                              In a large Dutch oven, brown half of the meat. Drain the grease, (I use a colander).

                                              Brown rest of the meat and when about halfway done, add the onions. Basically, I'm removing half of the fat, and using the rest to saute the onions.

                                              When the second batch of meat is browned and the onions softened, return the drained meat to the pan.

                                              Add two tablespoons of comino and fry for about one minute.

                                              Add one can of RoTel tomatoes with liquid and cook for about two or three minutes. This allows the tomatoes to flash fry and start to soften and break down.

                                              Add water, (or stock), (or beer), to cover and then some.

                                              Add two (or three or four) tablespoons of chili powder and two teaspoons of dried Mexican oregano. Add chopped garlic.

                                              You can also add chopped jalapenos, serranos, etc.

                                              Simmer till dinner time.

                                              Serve with cheese, chopped onions, beans, etc.

                                              Sometimes I add a can of Ranch Style Beans early in the cooking. Spare me the invectives, (I'm looking at you JC!). I'm a fifth generation Texan and I'll eat my chili any damned way I please.

                                              My Grandmother's Chili:

                                              Brown one pound of ground beef (80/20)
                                              Add flour to browned beef and fat to make a roux
                                              Add chili powder, (always Gebhardt's)
                                              Add water to desired consistency.

                                              I usually also add a bit of comino and a few finely chopped onions. My grandmother served that as chili, (with French fries!), but I use it for a chili sauce for tamales, hot dogs, etc. Simple but amazingly addictive.

                                              Also, I've done the whole roast and grind the dried chiles many times, but Gebhardt's is what my grandmama used and it's fine by me.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                                DoobieWah, was your grandmother also from Texas? I ask because my mother always made enchiladas with what she called "Texas chili," a recipe given to her by a friend who lived in Texas (probably in the late 60s-early 70s). The chili is just as you describe - browned ground beef (with some onions and garlic), flour to make a roux, chili powder (plus salt and cumin) and then water to make a sauce. It was never something that we ate bowls of, but it makes awesome enchiladas and I have used it on hot dogs, etc., as well.

                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                  Yes of course, but I've never seen that recipe, (or method), anywhere else.

                                                  1. re: DoobieWah

                                                    Yes, I have searched around on the internet a bit and have only found references to it in a few places - most of them refer to it as Texas chili gravy (I assume because of the flour thickener). Love it!

                                                2. re: DoobieWah

                                                  Do you find that Gebhardt's has any pungency at all? I tried it several years ago and found it lacking any heat. It was just ground red stuff. Do you use it for some reason other than for its coloring the chili?

                                                  Now Ro-Tel is a different story. It has some heat. The company from which I retired at one time owned Ro-Tel, American Home Foods. That was a long time ago.

                                                  Altho I live on the East Coast, my auto license plate reads "TX CHILI." I've been to Texas 3 times on business, twice to Dallas and once to San Antonia. I like the people, very friendly.

                                                  1. re: ChiliDude

                                                    Well as noted in my first post above, Gebhardt's is what grandmama used so it's what chili "should" taste like - for me anyway.

                                                    It's not really hot, but it has the flavor I require to be "just right". I often add heat in the form of crushed red chiles or even just a dusting of powdered cayenne. (Or Aleppo.) (Or Kashmiri.) (Or...)

                                                    And to be honest, I often blend, (adulterate?) my Gebhardt's with something from my local herberia, like ground ancho, cascabel, etc.

                                                    I've never been known to "leave well enough alone".

                                                    1. re: DoobieWah

                                                      I have the same inclination of never leaving well enough alone. I have no written recipe for chili, and I may use the same ingredients time after time, but I do very little measuring. Every batch of my chili is the result of experimentation. The only constants are the meat and the heat from the chiles.

                                                      1. re: ChiliDude

                                                        No recipes for me either.

                                                        I may have posted my general recipe on some forum or another, but I've never written down my grandmama's recipe before the post above. She passed away in '76 I think.

                                                        She wasn't known as a great cook, BTW. I can't think of anything else she cooked for us except Pillsbury biscuit donuts.

                                                        But I remember that chili.

                                                    2. re: ChiliDude

                                                      Pungency or heat?

                                                      I bought my first jar of Gebhardt's a few months ago at Grocery Outlet. I think its heat level is about right, similar to ancho or New Mexico red. So as the main chili flavor it works. If you like your chili hotter, it is easy to add more heat, whether with a hot sauce, or a hotter ground pepper.

                                                      On the other hand a chili made with just a hot pepper, say arbol or pure hot sauce is going to be all heat, with no depth or breadth of flavor. I'd rather get the base right, and then tweak the heat.

                                                      For today's batch (using ground beef and black beans) I used a variety of peppers - Gebhardts, NM red, Spanish paprika, canned diced green Hatch, a enchilada sauce, and bottled ranchero.

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        I use the word 'pungency' to indicate the incendiary quality of capsaicin. I order my chile powders from Pendery's in Fort Worth because I found Gebhardt's totally lacking in 'heat.' Pendery's has a website.

                                                        However, I grow chile plants and preserve them to have the pods year round. I like cayenne and bhut jolokia pods. Currently I have loads of pods from a hybrid that accidently appeared in my garden. One parent cultivar was a bhut jolokia, but I haven't a clue what the other parent was other than a C. annuum cultivar. This hybrid has the 'pungency' of the ghost pepper, but is smooth rather than wrinkled.

                                                        I consider beans in chili HERESY! However, I have beans for breakfast every morning in a nutriceutical that I make and I call 'arrabbiato minestrone denso' (spicy thick soup) that keeps my cholesterol level low.

                                                  2. I made the Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Chili from Chow last night and just ate it. This was my first time making a red beef chili by myself, so I wanted to start out easy. (I normally make chicken chilis.)

                                                    I cut the chili powder in half, as a quarter cup sounded extreme. Wish I hadn't; barely had any kick to it. I also rforgot to add the green chiles at the end....

                                                    Anyway. It turned out okay. Similar to what my mom has made my whole life. Served with corn muffins, cheese, scallions, and sour cream.

                                                    I'll try something more adventurous next week!

                                                    1. White bean chicken chili for dinner here tonight. Chicken thigh meat, grilled and chopped, tons of roasted poblano peppers, some fresh jalapenos, onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, etc. I cooked the white beans in the slow cooker and they got a bit overdone, but it ended up working as they disintegrated and turned into a fabulous thick soup. I added some canned ones at the end so there were some whole beans in the mix. Not terribly spicy but very flavorful.

                                                      1. I'm a noncombatant here, but it so happens that SoCal is having its first chilly wet day in too many months, we have a friend coming for dinner, and I have a big chunk of leftover cornbread … all signs that point to chili! I'm entering no contests, though, because my "recipe" of choice is to use Carroll Shelby's chili kit, except that I always cook the chili powder for a minute or two with the meat before adding any liquid, and the tomato sauce called for is El Pato. Other departures from orthodoxy are the beans that Mrs. O insists on - to her, chili is a bean dish with other stuff in it - and a can each of chopped green chiles and Ro-Tel. The stale cornbread will be cut into roughly 6" logs, then toasted and buttered, and a bowl of shredded sharp cheddar will be offered on the side. Also, in deference to Mrs. O's vegetarianism, the "meat" will be the Trader Joe's Meatless Crumbles that a carnivorous friend has recommended as Not Bad At All, cooked in oil. I expect it to be edible; good would be better. We'll see …

                                                        1. Will be improvising a pot today -- I have some roasted tomato puree I need to find a home for. Ground meat this time, with some Rancho Gordo beans.

                                                          I do not have a recipe -- just mix up spices until they seem right -- but I almost always sneak in some cocoa powder. Adds a really wonderful richness.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: dtremit

                                                            I'm also making a pot today with stew meat (chuck roast). Meat is in the crockpot now, and when it's done I'll turn it into chili in my stockpot. Adding fresh banana peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, 3 different kinds of beans, and tomoatoes. I live in Indiana, where most people add pasta, but I'm not a "pasta in chili" kind of gal.

                                                            1. re: Oboegal

                                                              Do you roast your peppers first?

                                                          2. I also made a pot today. I used chuck also. Came out pretty good.

                                                            1. An Indian-inspired lamb chili was dinner tonight - sauteed some ground lamb with onions, garlic and bell peppers, then added a mix of ground dried peppers (ancho, guajillo and dundicut), garam masala, cinnamon and kashmiri chili powder. Let those bloom then added a little tomato sauce and beef stock, then a 10 minute simmer. Tasty with yogurt and lime.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                You made kheema! Try throwing in some ginger paste with the garlic. Cumin, coriander and turmeric will also add some Indian-ness, if that's what you're going for. Peas are also common.

                                                                1. re: Scrofula

                                                                  Well, sort of. I make qeema frequently, and this was similar, but much saucier and with a much more chile-based flavor profile.

                                                                2. re: biondanonima

                                                                  Ooh, that sounds interesting! I'm too broke for lamb, but I might have to tweak it a little and give it a go.

                                                                3. I was going to make a black bean and chorizo chili last night, but I somehow misplaced my chorizo.... :/ I wonder if the new tenants at my old house got a nice spicy surprise then they moved in.

                                                                  1. FYI nominations are now open for the November Dish of the Month here:

                                                                    1. Chili purists, please avert your eyes, because I made…

                                                                      Shrimp Chili!

                                                                      This was a recipe in Fish Without a Doubt. I won't go into all the details, as you can see it in google books here:

                                                                      I always think of chili-making as a long process, but with fast-cooking shrimp, canned kidney beans, and canned fire-roasted tomatoes, this version comes together very quickly. It is definitely a delicious and repeatable workday dinner.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                        Interesting! I bet my boyfriend would love this. He's a shrimp fiend.

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          We make something along these lines, but we call it "curry." Not everything that contains chiles or chile powder is "chile."

                                                                          1. re: LorenzoGA

                                                                            Nothing remotely like curry in this. It's called chili in the book, and I call it chili here. And it was great! I told you purists to avert your eyes; definitely not a traditional chili; I'm playing fast and loose!

                                                                        2. I just want to say I had fully intended to participate in this one, as we really love chili and even the batches we freeze. But with DH's unexpected gallbladder surgery, spicy things are just not in the cards for a while. Maybe in a few weeks. I'll still post here when I do make it, though. I've definitely gotten some good ideas here, too. Thanks all.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                            Best wishes to Mr. boyzoma's speedy recovery!
                                                                            And do come back and post when you are ready to make something spicy.

                                                                          2. Coming into the discussion late in the month. I am new to CH and just saw this thread. A great idea. My new friends here at CH told me to check out the COTM, but this is fun too!

                                                                            More reasons to love chili besides the taste: (usually) contains lean meat, has high water volume which fills you faster for less calories if watching weight, and beans are loaded with fiber which keeps you full longer. So, a great food for health conscious folks.

                                                                            I personally can't call it chili without beans.

                                                                            After reading the posts, it looks like I may have a unique chili to report. SWEET POTATO AND PORK CHILI. I grew up eating the usual kidney bean and tomato type, and my Mom still cooks it often at their home when I visit.

                                                                            I adapted a recipe using pork tenderloin and sweet potato. I won't be making any this month since I already have a large container of it in the freezer, but wanted to share with you. I use a slow cooker, which is ideal for a chili.

                                                                            Combine ingredients in slow cooker on Low for 8 hours or High for 4-6 hours. Just cover ingredients with stock.
                                                                            1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
                                                                            1 medium carrot, chopped
                                                                            2 celery stalks, chopped
                                                                            3 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                            1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
                                                                            3/4 pound boneless center-cut pork loin, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
                                                                            1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                            1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                                                            14 oz. can diced tomatoes
                                                                            1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
                                                                            1 tablespoon adobo sauce (or chipotle mexican-style cooking sauce)
                                                                            15 oz. can navy beans, rinsed and drained
                                                                            enough (vegetable) stock to just cover ingredients

                                                                            Add in the last hour so ground spices remain potent:
                                                                            1 tablespoon chili powder
                                                                            1 tablespoon cumin
                                                                            1 teaspoon unsweetened dark-chocolate powder
                                                                            1 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                                            1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

                                                                            Optional for serving: chopped cilantro and plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream).

                                                                            Obviously, if you don't like too much heat you can adjust the peppers and spices. I also don't use much salt but it is plenty flavorful for me. A disclaimer, dicing the raw sweet potato by hand is tricky...I don't want anyone losing a part of a finger!

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                                              This sounds absolutely amazing! Love the idea of pork and sweet potato chile. And the addition of chocolate, which is so lovely in a chile-spiced dish. Thanks for sharing this!

                                                                              And welcome to CH! Both COTM and COTM are a lot of fun.

                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                That above should say both COTM and DOTM, of course.

                                                                                1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                                                  This sounds terrific, but I don't want to use a slow cooker. Can someone with experience "translate" to either stovetop timing or oven?

                                                                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                    I adapted it from a traditional stove top recipe TO a slow cooker one, so I can just tell you what the original was.

                                                                                    Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic and sweet potato in oil 8-10 minutes until tender. season pork with s&p and add to pot until browned, about 5 minutes. mix in chili powder, cumin, chocolate powder, oregano and cinnamon, cook 2 minutes. add 2/3 cup veg stock, tomatoes, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally about 1 hour. stir in navy beans and cilantro, heat about 3 minutes.

                                                                                      1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                                                        Enjoyed this very much today - tamed for us spice-wimps and still very flavorful, as I commented over on the WFD discussion. Thanks, again.

                                                                                  2. Did a quick chilie verde to tide us over for a few meals late last week.

                                                                                    A couple lbs boneless country pork ribs, cubed
                                                                                    1 sweet onion diced
                                                                                    4 cloves garlic, sliced
                                                                                    2 lbs tomatillos
                                                                                    4 cups chicken broth
                                                                                    2 tbs ancho chilie powder
                                                                                    1 tbs ground cumin
                                                                                    1 tbs oregano
                                                                                    1 tbs dried cilantro
                                                                                    2 bay leaves

                                                                                    Seasoned\browned the pork and set aside. Added the onions and cooked until translucent. Added the garlic and cooked a few minutes more. Added the tomatillos and chicken stock and then hit with the boat motor. Spices went in with the pork and let simmer two hours.

                                                                                    1. I've been really wanting to make chili, but unfortunately I'm staying in a hotel right now. It has a full kitchen, but I don't have any of my spices or equipment so there's no point. :(

                                                                                      For the chili powder I briefly toast a bunch of dried chiles in a dry pan, usually a mix of cascabel, ancho, New Mexico, red jalapeno, chiltepin and malagueta. I toast some whole cumin and coriander seeds, and black and white peppercorns, and add everything, along with some salt, marjoram, and 2 or 3 cloves, to the coffee grinder and grind it to a powder.

                                                                                      I usually do about a 1:1 ratio of beef to pork (sasauge or ground pork, occasionally chorizo) that gets thrown in a pan with a chopped onion and roasted green chilis. Sautee for a few minutes and drain about half the fat since I start with fatty meat. Add the chili powder, sautee a few minutes and then add in a few cloves of garlic and sautee a few more minutes. I throw this in a pot along with a box of chicken stock (or chicken stock from the freezer if I have it).

                                                                                      Then I put a 32-ounce can of Muir Glenn fire roasted tomatoes (or better yet some homegrown opalkas, Amish paste, and/or oxhearts if I have them) in the food processer with some chipotles in adobo and some of the adobo sauce, and puree. This gets added to the pot with a little water to get the desired consistency (actually a little extra since a lot of it will evaporate).

                                                                                      I simmer that for a few hours and then about 30 minutes before it's done I'll add a handful of chopped Mexican oregano. Then I taste and add a chicken bouillon cube if needbe, some salt, brown sugar, a little apple cider vinegar, etc.

                                                                                      Sometimes I add pinto, mayacoba, black beans, or even black lentils (urad dal). Or I'll add a 7 Pod, bhut jolokia, or Trinidad scorpion from the garden if I want it really hot.

                                                                                      I usually serve it with Frito's scoops and shredded cheddar. Or on a baked potato with shredded cheddar and sour cream. Or with some jalapeno cornbread.

                                                                                      I'm getting really hungry now. :/

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. I made a batch of this last night:

                                                                                        Hot-smoked a piece of chuck and two large, mild red peppers (Anaheims, maybe?). Didn't cook them long; just enough to pick up some smoke.

                                                                                        Sweated a chopped onion with some star anise and bay leaves. Added the chopped smoked peppers and some garlic, and then added the meat to brown. Considered adding a smoked hot link as well, but decided against it.

                                                                                        Added the powdered spices: cumin, New Mexican chile, arbol, a little Indian red chile, Mexican oregano, and black pepper. Added a splash of bourbon and some water and let it simmer until tender.

                                                                                        A nice meal at this time of the year, with some simple stovetop cornbread on the side.

                                                                                        1. My chili is just finishing up right now. I always make it a day before starting to eat it in earnest because it gets better with some time in the fridge. My recipe is heavily influence from the one at The Homesick Texan (http://www.homesicktexan.com/2009/02/...). I throw a little more beer in, mix up the dried chiles to match what I have on hand and how I like the finished chili (basically, more pasillas and a couple mulattos and fewer anchos, maybe an extra arbol or two thrown in), add a little molasses in the case of bitterness and a late-addition extra tsp of ground cumin. When topping I serve it with some fresh-sliced jalapenos. That gives fresh heat, smoky dried heat and cumin heat at different times during a taste.

                                                                                          Oh, and I usually substitute all or most of the water with crushed tomatoes in their own sauce, but I didn't have any on hand today.

                                                                                          I'm from New York, not Texas, so I can't claim an expertise, but this is better than any commercial chili I've had.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                            Kudos to you! I didn't see any mention of beans, and I hope that there aren't any.

                                                                                            I'm original from Chicago, but have lived on the East Coast for over 40 years, and I do claim expertise.

                                                                                            A Texas company was laying fiber optic cable on our street a few years ago. I got in a conversation with the boss about chili. He said that he could not find any decent chili served in restaurants in our area, and he was correct. I went into my house and grabbed some of my homemade out of the freezer and gave it to him, enough to feed his crew. Next day I was asked if I would make some more chili for them, and was presented with $50 to buy the ingredients. I made a brew and gave it to him. I tried to give him the cash that was left over which promptly refused to take.

                                                                                          2. I always like my chili with beans. Sorry for pure meat lovers out there! It's so hearty and delicious. I love how versatile it is.

                                                                                            Any lean ground beef, left over veggies, frozen veggie, mix it all together and voila! Here's one I made last weekend.

                                                                                            Southwestern Chili
                                                                                            makes 4-6 servings

                                                                                            1 yellow onion, diced
                                                                                            2 jalapeños, finely chopped
                                                                                            3 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                            1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1inch squares
                                                                                            1 pound lean ground beef

                                                                                            1 can diced tomatoes (and juices)
                                                                                            1 can tomato sauce
                                                                                            1.5 tbsp chili powder
                                                                                            1 tsp cumin
                                                                                            2 tsp paprika
                                                                                            1 tsp chili flakes
                                                                                            1/2 cup water

                                                                                            1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
                                                                                            1.5 cups frozen or fresh corn
                                                                                            Juice of 1 lime and zest (optional)

                                                                                            Add ~2 tbsp of oil into a deep pot and saute the onions, jalapeños, garlic and pepper (high heat)
                                                                                            When the onions have turned a little translucent, add in the beef, cook until browned
                                                                                            Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and all the spices
                                                                                            Stir everything and add enough water to cover (~1/2 cup), simmer on low heat for 45 minutes
                                                                                            Add the beans, frozen corn, simmer for another 15 minutes and add the lime juice and zest
                                                                                            Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions!

                                                                                            pictures at:

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MDcooksfor2

                                                                                              Is it the corn that makes this 'southwestern'?

                                                                                              1. re: MDcooksfor2

                                                                                                That sounds delicious. I've never had chile with corn, but it's a great idea. And your photos are so appetizing!

                                                                                              2. I made this tonight, it is all kinds of good, even if it is very non-traditional.

                                                                                                1. I just made a huge vat of chilli as we have houseguests and I would like to take some in to work. I used this recipe: http://fingerineverypie.typepad.com/m...

                                                                                                  I like it because it has a lot of vegetables and starts with dried beans, but I added more spice to the cooking meat and added a yellow pepper (because they come in a packet of red, green and yellow, so it would have been wasteful to leave out the yellow one to languish). I had to cook this across two pots and used lots of water. I don't think, amidst all the other ingredients, that 1/2 a cup of coffee had any impact on the overall flavour. I used New Mexican chilli coarse chilli powder that a friend sent me from the US.

                                                                                                  Served with baked potatoes, sour cream and cheese and creamed spinach. I'll probably be serving this up all week and will try out some cornbread recipes and other sides.

                                                                                                  1. tonite for dinner I am making chicken chili

                                                                                                    i used smoked paprika,garlic powder,dried mexican chile, medium hot chili powder,cherry tomatoes, strained tomatoes, minitaure green peppers, kidney beans, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

                                                                                                    the house smells good-looking forward to eating it.

                                                                                                    1. Finally getting around to making Chili today, as DH is finally up to it. I sautéed up 2 lbs ground sirloin and added to crock pot. Then sweated out some yellow onion and diced green/red pepper. Added to pot. I then added 2 cans each of Kidney, Pinto & Black beans to the pot, as well as minced garlic. Makes for a very colorful Chili. Also added was 2 cups tomato sauce and 2 cups diced tomatoes. Spices are Cumin, Paprika, Chili Powder, Ancho Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, S&P, Season Salt. Toppings will be sour cream, shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses along with some sliced green onion. I wanted to get to Penzey’s to get their Chile 3000, but, unfortunately, never had the chance. Simmered on high all afternoon. It turned out so good. I think we ate more than we should have. There was also cornbread with honey butter on the side.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                        Yum. How big is your crock pot? This sounds like more than twice as much chili as I normally make stovetop in my Dutch oven pan - I'm pan-size limited (fortunately, I guess, since there are only 2 of us). If I just double and use my way-too-big stock pot, I'm concerned I'll scorch the chili even with stirring.

                                                                                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                          I'm not sure how big it is, but it's big. I still had room and could have added more (and there is just 2 of us as well). I was looking for lots of left overs. Just go ahead with the way too big stock pot but just keep it on low.