I’ve enjoyed making and eating chilli ever since I was in university. It has a lot of appeal for your average student:
- You can make it in bulk and live off it for a few weeks
- You can make it spicy enough that you start bleeding out of your nose (and thus totally impress all your friends)
- It’s dead simple and really hard to screw up
The great part is that really once you have the basic ingredients you can just go nuts, vary up the ratios, add extra bits and pieces, whatever you fancy. Eventually though I discovered that I was getting a bit too wild and really wanted to nail down a basic “good” recipe to work from. It took a couple of tries but here it is. It’ll take around six hours to cook, an extra hour for prep depending on how lazy/drunk you are.
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2.5 lb lean ground beef
- 56 oz diced tomatoes (canned works just fine)
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp chilli pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 cup cilantro leaves (I use dried but fresh is probably good too)
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli pepper powder
- 1/2 pint stout or other dark beer
- 2 cups red wine (I tend to use merlot)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/8 cup tomato puree or 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
- ~3-4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 3×12 oz cans of mixed beans
- 2-3 large bell peppers (red and/or green), chopped
- Fry the onions in some olive oil until they start to turn translucent, then throw in the beef and stir until it browns all over.
- Add into a large pot with the tomatoes, spices, wine, beer and broth
- Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring periodically (use the remains of the stout to help you get through this)
- Drain and add the beans
- Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring periodically (it’s possible you’ll need more stout)
- Add the chopped peppers
- Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring periodically
- Serve with cornbread and the rest of the bottle of wine
- This makes a lot of chilli, make sure you have a large enough frying pan and pot. You can try scaling it down but I find it works best when making it in large quantities.
- After adding the peppers you’re basically simmering till it is about the right consistency, uncovering and/or adding some corn starch can help thicken it up at this stage.
- This recipe comes out pretty spicy, you might want to drop the chipotle chilli pepper power if that isn’t your thing.
- Unless you are feeding an army make sure you have tupperware to hold the leftovers. It reheats very well, if using a microwave throwing a little extra water in helps.