Make Ahead

Our Favorite Chili

September 16, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

In the days when my sons played high school hockey, I made gallons of this chili. I would transport it to the snack bar at the rink in a slow cooker. It would sell out every time because it was the best way to warm up at our infamously cold rink! The recipe is originally from Epicurious, but I have tweaked and adjusted it over the years to make it our family favorite. Both my former hockey players know how to make it, and they do a great job! —Donna

Test Kitchen Notes

Adding this perfect bowl of chili to my repertoire! I really enjoyed how this chili recipe came together. The ingredients are easily accessible and economical. The prep time is minimal since only the onion and garlic require actual chopping time. The cook time of 1 1/4 hours, as stated in the recipe, was perfect for a consistency that doesn’t dribble off a spoon but has sufficient gravy for dipping tortilla chips. Adding the chipotle chili and adobo sauce at the end adds the perfect smoky depth for one’s palate, suggesting the chili cooked for a longer time to achieve such flavor. This is a nice addition to one’s recipe box! —Karen Ostler

  • Serves 8 to 10
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium (or homemade) chicken stock
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager beer
  • 1 16-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced canned chipotle chili
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, from the canned chipotle
In This Recipe
  1. In a 7 to 8 quart, heavy Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, with a large pinch of kosher salt, and sauté until softened. Add the ground meats and stir, breaking up the meat and cooking until the meat is no longer pink. (At this point, you can spoon out a little of the extra fat from the pot, if you like).
  2. Add the spices, stir to coat the meat, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, beer, and the 3/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer the mixture for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the consistency is to your liking. Add the drained beans, the minced chipotles and adobo sauce, and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cool and store in the refrigerator, or portion into freezer containers and freeze for future use. We like grated sharp shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onions, and sour cream with our chili. It also makes great nachos, garnished with a little guacamole and cilantro. If you like a few more vegetables in your chili, feel free to add some chopped celery and bell pepper along with the onion and garlic. Adjust the spiciness with more or less chipotle chile.

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