This is based on the one from food.com, but I made a ton of changes. In the end, we decided that if you’re gonna put meat in your chili, this one is pretty darn good. I specify Bush’s beans because they are one of the few companies I am ALWAYS loyal to– they are based here in East Tennessee, and to my mind, I’m supporting a local company with an excellent product. (Also, I rinse the two cans of beans that come without the chili sauce because I heard years ago that rinsing off the bean slime reduces the gas that often comes with beans– and it seems to work!)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 1/2 pound (ish– my Food City seems to oversize their “1 lb” ground beef) of ground round– I used the 85/15 mix
1 can (14.5 oz) of crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 cup of cheap beer (a ‘lite’ or pilsner is best)
2 cups beef broth (I used a Knorr beef bouillon cube reconstituted in 2 cups hot H2O)
1 cup strong coffee
1 can chopped green chiles
1 bell pepper (not green, the flavor is too harsh, choose red, yellow or orange)
1 jalapeno, finely minced (more if you want to turn up the heat, but I feel that this is just right for us)
2 TBSP of brown sugar
1 large can (28 oz., I think?) of Bush’s pinto beans in chili sauce (undrained)
1 15 oz. can of Bush’s black beans, rinsed
1 15 oz. can of Bush’s red kidney beans, rinsed
1 1/2 TBSP of cumin
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne powder (increase this if you want spicier chili)
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
2 dashes of cinnamon (a little goes a long way here! We’re just trying to add dimension of flavor, not have the flavor read as ‘sweet’)
black pepper to taste
(Please note that the ingredients in these pics are from my first try– I decided that the dark beer had too prominent of a taste and changed the recipe to reflect that… also these adorable sweet chiles can be hard to find at all seasons of the year, so I subbed the bell for them– but use ‘em if you can find ‘em!)
*Prep your veggies, chopping, dicing and mincing your little brains out.
*In your large soup pot, brown the beef with all your fresh veg, adding the jalapeno and garlic when the beef is almost browned. (You don’t want your tiny bits to singe.)
*When your meat is browned and your veggies are softened and translucent, add your salt, sugar, cocoa, and herbs and spices. Turn these a few times to make sure your meat is coated. This sounds like a silly step, (and it will smell odd and crazy-strong) but we found that the meat part of the first batch was bland, and doing it this way seems to flavor the beef more directly.
*Add your liquids (coffee, broth, beer) and your two types of tomatoes.
*Simmer until you can’t stand it any more! This is one of those chilis that the longer you cook it, the better it gets, and it is unbelievably good the next day. I recommend at least three hours of low cooking, all day is better.
*Serve with all of the good stuff you normally put on chili– In my photo it’s with fritos, cheddar cheese, avocado, and sour cream. Serves a bunch! At least 8 big bowls, or about 12 regular sized ones.