It was a cold January evening. I was cozying up with a bottle of Rickard’s Dark as I have been known to do, and craving something really rich and hearty for Sunday dinner. This reminded me of my university days when my soon-to-be chef roommate would make a huge vat of chili to help get us through the bitter cold winters of Guelph, Ontario. The rich flavor of the dark beer helped me make my decision as well. Here’s my simple adaptation of several chili recipes I found on the web with lots of my own touches added. That’s why I call it the “all-in” chili, basically anything in my fridge that seemed like it might remotely work went into the pot.
- 2 cans (630ml) tomato sauce
- 1 large can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 10 oz. package diced fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1 cubed green pepper
- 1 cubed onion
- 2 florets of broccoli
- 1kg frozen corn
- 1lb lean beef
- Half a pack of bacon
- “A lot” of Garlic
- Olive oil
- 3 cups of 9 bean soup mix (whole peas, green lentils, red beans, white beans, light red kidney beans, pinto beans, red split lentils, black beans and black eye beans)
- 1 can (398ml) red kidney beans
- 1 or 2 tall cans of Alexander Keith’s India pale ale
- Jack Daniel’s whiskey
Various spices added to taste:
- Montreal steak spice
- Swiss Chalet sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
These are very general guidelines to making your chili, there is no need to stick to anything really specific. It’s a pretty foolproof, “all in the pool”, style of cooking.
- Soak and prepare dried beans until they are al dente. They will be cooked much more in the chili so they don’t need to be 100% done.
- Add a small amount of olive oil and brown several cloves of chopped garlic. I am a huge fan of garlic so I used about 15 cloves all together, you might want less.
- Add onions, cherry tomatoes, green peppers and frozen corn. Brown slightly for added flavor.
- Add canned tomato sauce and canned diced tomatoes.
- Add whatever spices you like, as you can see from my ingredients I added various spices/sauces and adjusted for taste.
- Pour in one full tallboy of beer and a big swig of Jack Daniel’s. Darker beers add more flavor but I only had a pale ale on hand.
- Heat through and reduce to a simmer. At this point I added the raw broccoli to cook in the liquid.
- Chop bacon into small strips and brown in a separate pan until crisp. Drain most of the grease and add to main pot, keep some in for flavor.
- In same pan, brown beef in the bacon fat until well done. Add to main pot.
- Stir and simmer. The longer you allow the flavors to simmer the more developed they will be.
Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese on top with either tortilla chips or rice on the side. The proportions I used here make a LARGE pot which provides lots of left overs for easy snacks and lunches later on. It’s a great return on investment of time if you like leftovers. You can even freeze leftovers flat in a Ziploc bag for later. This recipe includes exactly what went into this first pot of chili that I made, I’m sure in the future I’ll have a very different mix of ingredients, and to me that’s the beauty of a dish like this.
What would be your favorite thing to add to your chili?