Chili. It is one of those soups that everyone seems to love. Except maybe my children. A few months ago, they asked me if I would make chili without tomatoes. I prodded them a bit to see what they wanted, because chili without tomatoes doesn’t really seem like chili. Yes, I know you can make chicken chili, or white bean chili, but they didn’t want that either.
Turns out, the frozen from our garden whole tomatoes (which added exceptional flavor to my chili) were “too whole and tasted like tomatoes”. Go figure. So, I set out to recreate a chili that would be smoother, but still retain that delicious chili taste. Not too spicy, because our NE Iowa palates aren’t made for that, but with plenty of robust and complex flavors.
This recipe uses crushed tomatoes and thick tomato juice instead of whole tomatoes. Add to that a generous amount of meat, beans and seasonings, and you have the makings of a chili that is incredibly good. I call it “knock your socks off” chili, not because it is spicy, but because it is loaded with flavor.
If you like a spicy chili, it is easy to add cayenne powder, hot sauce, or jalapenos to this recipe. However spicy you like your chili, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. Topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream, it is simply irresistible!
Knock Your Socks Off Chili
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1-2 hours (stovetop), or 6-10 hours (crockpot)
1 ½ pounds Ground Beef
1 ½ pounds Ground Venison
2 medium Yellow Onions, chopped
6 cloves Garlic, minced
46 ounces Tomato Juice
28 ounces Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans
1 can (15 oz.) Pinto Beans
2 tsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
3 T. Dark Brown Sugar
1 T. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 T. Liquid Aminos (Soy sauce alternative)
Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet pan, brown the ground meat and onions with 1 tsp. salt until meat is cooked through and onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add black pepper and more salt to taste.
- Transfer the meat mixture to a large crockpot and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours.
- For stovetop chili, cook the meat mixture. Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- To taste for seasonings, ladle chili into a small bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. It is important to let it cool before adjusting the seasonings as the flavor intensifies as it cools.
Garnish bowls of chili with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve alongside cinnamon rolls for the perfect cool weather meal!