A mix of rich spices takes run-of-the-mill chili to a whole new level. You’ll need a few hours for the flavors to develop, but not a lot of active effort. And the results are more than worth it! If you prefer to start with dried beans, soak a total of two cups of your favorite variety or varieties and add them to the pot when you add back the cooked beef. Made with beans, this chili is a good source of important fiber as well as other nutrients.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 ounces baby portobello or white button mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 pounds ground beef, chicken, or turkey
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid
- 2 15-ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon each cayenne, allspice, and coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider or sherry vinegar
- Optional toppings for serving: diced raw onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and crushed corn or tortilla chips as desired
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the oil and then the onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add the ground meat in batches and cook until browned.
Push everything to the sides of the pot and add the tomato paste. Cook it until it turns a deep, brownish red and then fold it into the vegetables and meat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for three hours, stirring every half hour. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, place the lid ajar. Remove the bay leaves and serve with your choice of toppings.
Yields 8 hearty servings.