Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Segal
This ground beef chili is melt-in-your-mouth tender, thick, and rich — and wonderful over rice or scooped up with tortilla chips. It’s on the mild side (for the kids) but feel free to add more chipotle chili powder or hot sauces to give more of a kick.
- 2.5 pounds 85% lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion (or 2 small), minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon molasses, such as Grandma’s Original (optional, if you like your chili a little sweet)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
FOR SERVING (OPTIONAL)
- Cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, cheese, scallions
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, salt, baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of water. Using your hands, mix until evenly combined. Let the beef mixture sit on the counter for 20 minutes. (the baking soda raises the pH of the meat, helping to lock in moisture and accelerate browning)
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic, and red pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the beef and increase the heat to high; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break the meat into 1/4-inch pieces, until the beef is browned, 10 to 12 minutes. (The beef will release a lot of liquid — do not drain it; you’ll skim the fat off at the end.)
- Add the ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, smoked paprika, and cinnamon; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, until well combined and fragrant.
- Stir in the cornmeal, broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and molasses; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
- Skim any excess fat off the surface of the chili. (There will be quite a bit; don’t worry about getting all of it, as it adds flavor.) Stir in the lime juice, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. For a thinner chili, you can add a bit of water. To thicken the chili, continue simmering, uncovered until desired consistency is reached.
- Make-Ahead: Cool slightly, and then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The chili can be frozen for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost it in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
Recipe Courtesy of Once Upon a Chef