The first time I’d ever had chili, it came from a can. It was Hormel’s No Beans Chili and I would serve it with slices of French bread. After my husband and I got married, that was the sort of dinner I would prepare, and I thought it was mighty good! Go to the grocery store, buy a couple cans of Hormel’s, grab a loaf of French bread from the bakery section and WALAA! Dinner is served! To be fancier and more authentic than French bread, I would swap it with flour tortillas! Is that cooking genius or what??
Nevertheless, this is yet another example that makes my husband so happy that I now know how to cook. 😉 My boys are also happy that they missed that whole phase.
Chunky Chipotle Chili Con Carne is hearty, meaty, flavorful, and NOT from a can! It is full of simple ingredients and is not overloaded with sodium. Also, as I had mentioned, I used to buy the “No Beans” version of Hormel’s chili, so my recipe does not have beans. I actually don’t mind having beans in chili. However, if given the choice, I’ll take the bean-less version which is also what my family prefers.
In learning how to make my own chili, I realized (the hard way, of course) that spiciness does not register immediately after you add the chili peppers and chili powder to the pot. I once added chili powder, found it wasn’t spicy enough after tasting it immediately, and added more. Needless to say, I had tears in my eyes and my mouth was burning when I ate it a couple of hours later! So be sure to avoid the mistakes I made! Wait a good hour after adding the chili peppers and spices before doing a taste test.
My Chunky Chipotle Chili Con Carne recipe suggests approximately 2 hours of simmering time. In those 2 hours, the spices will have a chance to meld with the rest of the ingredients to develop a deep, hearty chili flavor. The chipotle peppers add a smoky spiciness to the chili instead of it just being plain spicy. And you will notice that there is cocoa in the recipe! Surprisingly, the cocoa adds a certain depth and extra special something to the chili that makes it that much more flavorful. I can’t explain the science of it, but all I can say is that it works.
Garnish the chili with grated cheddar and fresh avocado and serve it with tortilla chips and a salad. Alternatively, dollop some chili over hot dogs, or over a bowl of hot polenta. Top a heap of tortilla chips with chili and cheese and slices of hot chili peppers. Give it a quick broil, and you’ve got chili nachos for the crowd!
Try making a batch of this Chunky Chipotle Chili Con Carne the next time you have a crowd to feed. If you prefer beans in your chili, add some to the pot! Do you like your chili fire-alarm spicy? Go ahead and add an extra chipotle pepper or another teaspoon of chili powder! (Just remember to increment the spicy ingredients slowly!) Either way, get making this chili and leave a comment below!
Chunky Chipotle Chili Con Carne
- 1 kg ground beef chuck
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped fine
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 500g cartons chopped tomatoes (stewed is also fine)
- 2 chipotle peppers chopped up
- 2 tbs adobo sauce (comes in the can with the chipotle peppers)
- 1 cup organic chicken broth
- Grated cheddar for garnishing (optional for garnishing)
- Sliced avocado (optional for garnishing)
- Tortilla chips
- In large saucepan or pot over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add ground chuck and cook through.
- Add chili powder, cumin, salt and cocoa and mix well.
- Add diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and chicken broth. Mix well.
- Simmer over low heat, slightly uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Simmer uncovered for a remaining 30 minutes to reduce the liquid in the chili to a thicker consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Garnish with grated cheddar and sliced avocado and serve with tortilla chips.
In Your Kitchen:If you like beans in your chili, go ahead and add a can of rinsed beans to the existing recipe! There should be enough liquid to help balance out the addition of beans and still achieve the right thickness or consistency.
Adjust the amount of chipotle peppers and chili powder to suit your desired level of spiciness.
If you make this dish, share your photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @dayinthekitchen!
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