Greetings from a wonderful country in winter. Small ice cubes line the roofs and trees are wrapped in thick layers of dazzling ice. I am warm and cozy with my family here in central Oklahoma.
We can’t be the only ones avoiding the grocery stores today, so I thought I’d share my new favorite vegetarian chili recipe. It’s perfect for watching soccer games with the crowds because it’s a meatless option that carnivores will enjoy. Also, it can be vegan and gluten free if you choose your fillings carefully.
The ingredients of this chili are very simple, but its taste is anything but pleasant. Simple ingredients can have an exceptional taste when prepared with aromatic substances such as onion, carrot, celery and garlic. I added traditional spices for chili and smoked paprika for an extra-savory smoky note.
By mixing a small portion of chili, you get a chili that has been cooking all morning, but only needs about 30 minutes of simmering time. It’s a little trick I learned in my lentil soup, which is another comfortable option for cold days. Stay warm and if you like this hearty soup, be sure to check out the eight soup recipes in my cookbook!
1 pound bacon (raw) – cut into small pieces
1 large onion – diced
1 red bell pepper – seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper – seeded and diced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tablespoon ground cumin
1.5 tablespoon of paprika
0.5 to 1.5 tablespoons of chipotle powder (use 1.5 tablespoons if you like it spicy)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons of salt
.5 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
3 pounds of ground beef
1 can or bottle of beer (I use Coors Light)
1 14-ounce can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 14-ounce can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of 24 ounces of crushed tomatoes
1 24-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1-Cook the diced bacon over medium heat in a large saucepan or non-stick Dutch oven. When the bacon is almost cooked, add the diced onion and peppers and cook until softened.
2-Add chopped garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, dried oregano, salt and cayenne powder. Cook for a minute or two until the mixture is aromatic.
3-Add the ground beef to the bacon and onion mixture. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink.
4-Insert a can of beer, rinsed and drained beans, crushed tomatoes with their juice, and diced tomatoes with their juice.
5-Cover and simmer over low heat (for me it’s number 3) for 1.5 hours. Add a little water, if necessary. The first hour, stir the pot every 10-15 minutes, and the last 30 minutes, stir the pot every 5-10 minutes. You may need to stir more often, depending on your pot and the temperature of your burner.
6-Taste of salt.