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.
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
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.