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Chili Three Ways

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Few dishes are as comfortingly familiar in cold weather as chili. Here is a recipe for a chili base that can be made either well in advance or on the day you’re serving it. You can then make chili in many ways: with beef and beans; with turkey and beans; or as a vegetarian dish made with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and a variety of beans. The chili base is an excellent freezer staple to have on hand all winter.

Serves8

Cooking Methodstewing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealdinner

Moodblue

Taste and Texturegarlicky, meaty, rich, savory, spiced, umami

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juices
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin or chuck
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Chopped red onions
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped red, yellow, & green bell peppers
  • Chopped jalapenos or other chiles
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Chopped avocados or guacamole
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, & chives

Instructions

  1. For the Base:

  2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, scallions, and garlic and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the jalapenos and cook 5 minutes more.

  3. Put the cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, and red pepper flakes in a dry skillet and toast them over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and being careful not to burn them, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool, then add it to the onions and cook 5 minutes more.

  4. Add the tomatoes and their juices, beer, broth, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes. (The base may be prepared up to this point and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If stored, bring to room temperature before final cooking.)

  5. For the Turkey and Bean Chili:

  6. About ½ hour before serving, bring the chili base to a low simmer.

  7. Saute the turkey in a skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the meat and cook just until it is no longer pink. Drain the fat and add the meat to the chili base and mix well.

  8. Add the beans to the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with water or more beer. Simmer the chili over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve warm with accompaniments.

  9. For the Vegetarian Chili:

  10. About ½ hour before serving, bring the chili base to a low simmer.

  11. Add the beans to the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with water or more beer. Simmer the chili over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve warm with accompaniments.

  12. For the Beef and Bean Chili:

  13. About ½ hour before serving, bring the chili base to a low simmer.

  14. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and saute over medium-high heat. Crumble the meat and cook just until it is no longer pink. Drain the fat. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add to the chili base and mix well.

  15. Add the beans to the chili and season to taste with the cinnamon and the salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with water or more beer. Simmer the chili over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve warm with accompaniments.

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