A Very Good Pot of Chili: Beef, Beans & Sweet Potatoes
It's still winter for another month, so time to talk chili.
I make a pot only once a year, and usually for Super Bowl Sunday and for the freezer.
It is the perfect thing to freeze for future meals and take out when you don't feel like cooking.
We all know I am not a big meat eater, especially ground beef.
A nice brisket or beef stew a few times a year, but rarely do I cook with ground beef.
Here is my once a year submission.
I am sure you have a good recipe for chili.
Some people add cinnamon or coffee (yes they do).
Others use beer and chuck cubes.
And I know most of you use ground turkey.
Also, there are so many different chili powder blends. New Mexico; Ancho and Aleppo.
Go ahead, use whatever you like. Chili is very forgiving. It comes out different every time.
Use whatever beans or vegetables or protein you like. Not too many rules when making chili.
I was very pleased with this version, and I think you will be too.
The sweet potatoes are what did it for me. They were just that special component that made this chili better than others.
Feel free to use any variety of bean you like, and you can substitute ground turkey for the chopped meat.
A Good Chili:
2 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 tsp pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
1 can of Ro-tel tomatoes (they have hot chilis in them; or a can of fire roasted tomatoes if you can't find Ro-tel brand)
1 cup of beef stock mixed with 1 tbsp of tomato paste (do this with a fork)
1 small can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can small red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar to finish
fresh cilantro and scallions to garnish
In a large Dutch oven (I love my 7 quart Le Creuset), saute the onions, garlic, sweet potato with the cumin, chili powder and pimenton, just to coat with the spices.
Next add in the ground beef (or turkey) and keep moving the contents in the pot for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the beef is no longer pink.
Add in the salt & pepper.
Next, throw in all the canned stuff, tomatoes and beans and the cup of beef broth that has mixed w/ tomato paste. Once everything starts to boil, turn down the heat and simmer about 40 minutes with the lid off.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Next time, I will add half a can of adobo sauce to make it smokey, however, this might be just enough for you.
If you want more heat, then add some cayenne. My chili was spicy enough from the Ro-tel tomatoes (they pack a punch).
Lastly, but my favorite part of any beef stew/chili, is to add a tablespoon of cider vinegar. Not sure why this works, but trust me, it does. Don't skip this step.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and chopped green onions.
I never understood why people need to put sour cream and shredded cheese on top of their beef chili, but do your thang!