Warm-You-Up No Bean Chili

Warm-You-Up ChiliIt’s a snowy day here in St. Louis so there’s no better time to share a hearty, warm-you-from-the-inside-out chili than today.  I have always been a big fan of chili.  I used to make it “the easy way.”  Break out a couple cans of Brooks’ chili hot beans, a can of rotel, a can of tomato soup, a pound of ground beef, and spices.  It was easy and delicious.  When we figured out Buddy is allergic to legumes I quickly realized (cause it was “chili season” at that time) that I couldn’t make my “easy” chili anymore.  And so we went about a year without it.  Recently I decided we had missed out on enough delicious bowls of warmth.  If Texans can make amazing chili without beans, so can I!

After perusing several no-bean chili recipes, I found Emeril Lagasse’s Chuck Wagon Chili recipe.  The reviews sang its praises so I knew I didn’t want to mess with it too much…but worked with what I had on hand and came up with quite an amazing pot o’ chili if I do say so myself.

No-Bean Chili

2 Tbls evoo

2 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

3 Tbls chili powder

1 Tbls cumin

1 1/2 tsp Emeril’s Essence (you can pick this up at WalMart)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1 1/2 c chopped onion (I used frozen)

1/2 Tbls minced garlic (Emeril calls for 2 Tbls…which scared me so I cut it way back)

22 oz. Guiness (you can use any dark beer…I LOVE the flavor Guiness gives to stews and chilis)

1-28 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed, with juices (next time I’m totally using a can of crushed)

1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1-6 oz can tomato paste

1 cup beef consomme (can use broth too)

2 Tbls semisweet chocolate chips

cornstarch and water (to make a slurry if you need to thicken your chili…see below)

elbow macaroni (if you like a good chili mac)

shredded cheddar (for topping)

sour cream (for topping…especially good to have on hand if anyone is sensitive to even a little heat…this isn’t a super spicy chili by any means but sour cream is an easy way to calm any spice)

chopped green onions (for topping)

chopped cilantro (for topping)

Heat oil in a large stock pot, add meat and spices (through crushed red pepper) and cook through.  Drain grease.

Warm-You-Up Chili

Add onion and cook for several minutes.  Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add beer and cook until foam subsides.

Warm-You-Up Chili

Crush up those tomatoes…or, as I said, skip this step and buy the can of crushed tomatoes.  Oye.

Warm-You-Up Chili

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, consomme (or broth), and chocolate.  Bring to a boil and stir.  Reduce to simmer, partially cover (allowing some liquid to evaporate to help your chili thicken) and cook for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.

Warm-You-Up Chili

As you can see, at this point, my chili was a little on the thin side.  Bring on the cornstarch slurry!  This is an easy way to thicken up your chili.  Mix 1 Tbls cornstarch with 1 Tbls water until smooth.  Whisk into chili and cook for just a couple minutes.  If still too runny, repeat.  I used two slurries for this recipe but yours will just depend on how much liquid evaporated during cooking.

Warm-You-Up Chili

Serve over pasta for a heartier chili mac (or to stretch your batch of chili if you’re feeding a crowd) and top with whatever you like.  I went for a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  Yumm.

Warm-You-Up Chili

What are your favorite cold weather foods??

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