Recipe and photo by Amanda Hutchinson
I love chili, but I always have a hard time finding recipes because the three main vegetables I’m picky about are tomatoes, onions and peppers. After experimenting with a recipe with a roommate last semester, I came up with a recipe highlighting all the things I like about a good chili–smoky with a little kick and a lot of meat–without the vegetable texture issues.
For a milder version, make a double batch but maintain the 7 ounces of chipotles, or substitute one or two dried ancho chiles, seeded and reconstituted in water.
The meat shredding is a bit tricky, especially with the addition of the beans, but I found it easier to pull apart in each individual serving. Using a roast or other cut of meat will also help in the shredding process.
This would also work well with fresh tomatoes chopped and cooked down or, if you have a mill, homemade tomato sauce.
5 slices of bacon, sliced widthwise into thin strips
1 small onion, sliced
1 7-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 pounds of stew beef– I used beef from Crosswinds Farm and Creamery in Ovid
1 15-ounce can of beans – I used pinto
1 29-ounce can of tomato sauce
½ tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon honey – I used buckwheat honey from Waid’s in Interlaken
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
toppings of choice: cheese, chips, etc.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add bacon, stirring frequently to prevent the slices from sticking. In the meantime, put the onion slices and chipotle peppers with adobo in a food processor and puree until smooth. Mince the garlic cloves and add to the rendering bacon with the onion/chipotle mixture.
While the base is cooking, stirring frequently to heat throughout, season the beef with salt and pepper. Remove the base and set aside. Add the beef to the pot (in batches if necessary) and sear on all sides. Add the base to the pot again with the beans, tomato sauce, half the tomato can’s worth of water, cumin, and Italian seasoning, and mix to combine. Drizzle in the honey and stir again.
Once the chili comes to a simmer, turn it down to medium low and let sit uncovered for 2-3 hours or until the meat pulls apart with minimal effort, stirring occasionally. Carefully pull apart the meat with a fork or wooden spoon.
Serve with toppings of choice and a tall glass of milk.
Amanda Hutchinson is a senior journalism major at Ithaca College who enjoys making real food on a college budget. Check out her other work at amandalhutchinson.wordpress.com.