I really love a GOOD chili. I’ve had several great chilis in my past, but I’ve definitely had a lot of… not so great chilis. Growing up, my mom would make a really good chili that we would eat with white rice. While she usually made the chili with beans, I preferred mine without beans. Not that I’m against legumes, I just feel like the texture of beans gets in the way of the meatiness if that makes sense?
The chili I made last night differs from my mom’s recipe that I usually make, but it turned out really great and had a lot of meatiness and a hint of spice without being overpowering. The bacon fat is key in adding extra richness and smokiness. The habanero also adds a slightly fruity flavor which was a nice surprise.
Every cook I’ve talked to has their own way of making their chili and I would love to hear your favorite chili recipes! Please leave a comment with your favorite twist on homemade chili!
- 1 lb of ground beef (85/15)
- 1 Cubanelle pepper finely diced
- 1 Carrot finely diced
- 1 Onion finely diced
- 2 Garlic cloves finely diced
- 2 Celery sticks finely diced
- 1 Habanero minced
- 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
- 1 Can of Tomato Sauce (15 oz)
- 2 tsp of Cumin
- 3 tsp of Chili Powder
- 2 Tbsp of Bacon Fat
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Shredded cheese of choice (optional)
- Heat up bacon fat in Dutch oven or stockpot on medium heat.
- Once heated, add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery and cook on medium heat.
- After 5 minutes, add the cubanelle pepper and continue to cook and stir the vegetables until softened (about 7 more minutes).
- After the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized, make a well in the center of your pot (make a border of the mixed vegetables) and add in your ground beef.
- Let the beef cook and brown on one side before mixing up the ground beef and vegetables and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink.
- Add in the cumin and chili pepper and allow the spices to cook until fragrant and then add in the canned tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
- Stir the chili and add in the habanero and salt and pepper to taste.
- Lower to low heat, put a lid on the pot and let the chili stew for about 1 hour. Don’t forget to stir every so often to make sure the chili isn’t burning!
- Stir the chili before serving. If wanted, serve the chili with cheese and any garnish of choice (I like sour cream and slices of avocado but didn’t have any on hand).
I had a box of Trader Joe’s cornbread mix but didn’t have any vegetable oil, so I used coconut oil and it resulted in a coconutty, deeelicuous, moist cornbread with a nice crust from my cast iron skillet!