Beef Chili

April 25th, 2009

Beef Chili from Sugarlaws

I have a terrible story to tell about this recipe. 

The first time our CSA contained ground beef, I thought immediately: chili.  I proceeded to buy a few extra ingredients, including tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices.  Specifically, I went to a store nearby that sells every kind of spice you could imagine, and I bought little bags of of mild and chipoltle chili powder, and, because there wasn’t any spicy chili powder in the store, a small bag with a few tablespoons of cayenne pepper.

As the chili simmered away in my slow cooker, I brought one of the bags over to Chad, who wasn’t paying attention to me.

“Will you taste this and tell me if it’s too hot?”

He looked at me (rightly) suspiciously.  “What is it?”

“It’s chili powder,” I answered, and went back into the kitchen.  Chad, of course, then dipped his finger into the bag and tasted its contents.

“Oh!” I shouted, coming back over to him.  “Not chili powder, it’s cayenne pepper!”

Whoops.  Several glasses of water later, Chad is fairly sure that I’m trying to kill him. 

But even the tablespoon of cayenne pepper that I ultimately added to the first batch if chili made it far, far too spicy.  So this recipe doesn’t contain any — it’s a mild, easy to eat, non-spicy chili.  If you want a little more kick, I’m not taking responsibility for it — we’ve learned that one the hard way.  But this chlii, even without any spiciness, is delicious, and perfect for those spring days where the weather isn’t quite warm yet!  So definitely give it a try.

Beef Chili from Sugarlaws

Beef Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup mild chili powder
2 tbsp chipoltle chili powder
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, plus puree
1 (14 ounce) can of red kidney beans, drained
1/2 bottle of beer
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
Sour cream
Shredded cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble beef into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible.  Add salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the beef is well browned.

Place the cooked beef, whole peeled tomatoes, beans and broth, tomato paste, spices, and chopped onion and pepper into a slow cooker, and cook on “High” for 5 hours, or simmer in a stock pot on very low heat for about 2 hours. 

Make the chili a day ahead if possible, and reheat before serving.  Top with sour cream, scallions, cheese, and serve.

Serves 6-8.

Beef Chili from Sugarlaws

Tags: food · main dishes

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Whitney // Apr 25, 2009 at 11:41 am

    A Tablespoon of cayenne.  Dang.  Of course it was spicy!

    I’m glad that your 2nd try turned out better 🙂

  • 2 Elyse // Apr 25, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Hhahaa, I love that: take responsibility for any kick you add to the chili.  Poor Chad!  I’m glad that he’s doing better after the cayenne incident 🙂 What a funny story!  Well, I must say, this chili looks quite delicious.  I’m totally impressed!

  • 3 Joy // Apr 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    OMG…lol! The perils of a taste-tester. :p Glad he survived to eat the 2nd try. That looks really good. Can I tell you something? I’ve never made chili before!

  • 4 maris // Apr 25, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Looks so great! I like chili leftovers too – love it especially in the fall and winter!

  • 5 Nirvana // Apr 26, 2009 at 10:17 am

    can you make this without the beer?

  • 6 Pearl // Apr 26, 2009 at 11:40 am

    i’ve never made chili with beef before, only with turkey.  I think i’ll give this a try!

    I once put too much pepper in spaghetti sauce – it was too hot. 🙂

  • 7 Eliana // Apr 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I love a chunky chili like this one.

  • 8 stephchows // Apr 27, 2009 at 7:26 am

    lol sounds like something I’d do to John… but he likes spicy so he probably wouldn’t mind 🙂

  • 9 Joy the Baker // Apr 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Cayenne tragedy…. so sorry!  This batch of chili looks divine though!

  • 10 Cynthia // Apr 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Hmmmm, you know I’d opt for the spicy heat 🙂

  • 11 Brian // Apr 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Beer makes such a great base for chili!  I haven’t been able to leave it out since I first tried it.
    And maybe I’m just strange but I find that even a spicy chili is very refreshing during summer if served chilled (plus a night in the fridge lets all the flavors mellow and blend).

  • 12 Cynical Cook // May 1, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Interesting attempt at Chili, but I’d advise leaving the beans on the side.

    Keep up the good work.

  • 13 Old Mumsy // Jul 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Really great chili!  I loved the smokey flavor.  Mine had just the right amount of heat, but I think it came from the chipotle I used.  It seems really versatile, too.  Next time (and there will be a next time), I’m going to try different chili powders and paprikas and see what that’s like. 

    I guess the one plus to the cold, wet start to this particular Maine summer is that I got to try this now!

  • 14 Chili! | Jordan Morchat // Jan 27, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    […] Photo Credit Ingredients: 2 # ground meat (preferably grass fed or wild game) 1 onion 4 cloves garlic 2 tbs chili pwd 2 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon paprika 1 can diced tomatoes or 1-2 whole tomato diced 1 tbs cocoa pwd 1 12oz jar salsa 2 1/2 cups chopped celery salt/pepper to taste Sauté over medium heat the onions, celery and garlic until onions are translucent about 3 or 4 minutes. Then you add the meat, cumin, paprika, oregano and chili powder. Stir while this cooks for about 5 to 6 minutes. Then pour in the salsa and tomatoes.  This recipe is great, because I like to change it depending on what’s in the fridge! Be creative! […]

  • 15 Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken | Sugarlaws // Jan 27, 2014 at 5:34 am

    […] times I had used it?  Once.  (Conveniently documented on Sugarlaws, I used it to make beef chili back in 2009… during which I accidentally fed Chad a spoonful of straight cayenne pepper, oops!  He […]

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