I’m not quite sure why this chili recipe–an old Gourmet classic adapted by Smitten Kitchen–tastes so much better than so many other chili recipes I’ve tried, but  it just does. Maybe it’s the combination of the spices: healthy healthy heap of cumin makes all the difference, in combination with the usual suspects. Or maybe it’s the three pounds of ground chuck! I’m a fan of a meaty chili, where the beans don’t overpower the dish, so I tend to hold back some of the kidneys. While I love the idea of cheddar biscuits (the accompaniment in the original recipe), I find that if you serve on it’s own, or even with some greens, it just feels warm and hearty without making you want to unzip your pants lie down. I often double the recipe and bank the leftovers. It freezes brilliantly.

Serves 6

2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, sliced thin (suggested by Gourmet) or in a small dice, as I’d chop them next time

2 green bell peppers, chopped

3 pounds boneless beef chuck, ground coarse or 3 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon crumbled dry oregano
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (Gourmet suggests 1 tablespoon; I used 1 teaspoon knowing that my flakes are very hot)
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce or 2 cups fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups or 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Not in the original recipe but the add-ons that make this dish go from good to great:
Optional garnish: chopped cilantro, grated cheddar cheese, raw onion, sliced avocado, tortilla chips

In a large pot (I used a 5-quart, and just fit it all), heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions in it for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, carrots, and green peppers and cook for one minute more. Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and vinegar and simmer the chili, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes (if you used ground beef) or 50 to 60 minutes (if you used coarse chuck). Add the kidney beans, bell peppers, salt (I used 2 teaspoons to get the seasoning right for my tastes) and pepper to taste and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until the bell peppers are tender.


You Might Also Like

Winter Dinner Arsenal
A Salad for When You're the Host
New Favorite Teatime Accessory

Comments (2)


  1. Posted by: Jenny

    Its own. No apostrophe.

  2. Posted by: Ann

    I have made this three times with and without beans. Kids love it. I also substitute beef for turkey.

Leave a Reply

Yor email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

Sign Up

Email Sign Up
We promise not to bug you -
it'll only be good stuff, pinky swear.