Nothing sets off the feel of impending autumn like a nice warm pot of chili. We decided to go all-classic this time with a simple veggie-loaded beef and bean chili, with all my favorite chili seasonings (some of which might surprise you!). Whip up a batch of cornbread to serve, or simply do what we did and shred up some Monterey Jack and sprinkle it on top with a plop of sour cream.
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery
3/4 white onion
1/2 bulb garlic (about 10 cloves)
2 red peppers
3 jalapenos (or to taste!)
2 tbsp beef stock concentrate (make sure it’s gluten free if that’s what you’re going for)
1 large can crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp vegetable oil (we used safflower)
4 dashes liquid smoke seasoning
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee grounds, or 1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cayenne
1 cup corn kernels
1. Begin by small-dicing the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot and begin browning the beef. When it’s completely cooked, drain any excess fat and set beef aside. Return the pot to the hot element.
2. Now add some more oil and saute all the vegetables including the garlic but not the corn, until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the beef to the pot along with the beans and can of tomatoes. Rinse the walls of the can off with warm water and allow the tin to fill with water; add that to the chili. Add the seasonings, including the coffee and liquid smoke. Everything should be in the pot at this point except for the corn. Stir occasionally over medium heat, lid half-on, for about 1 hour to allow flavors to marry.
3. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the corn kernels and continue to cook. Et voila! You’ve made chili! Now make sure to use the leftovers for all sorts of delicious things such as chili cheese fries or dogs, chip dip, even sloppy joes!