We could go around in circles discussing whether or not ‘real chili’ has beans in it or not. But I’m simply going to shut down that discussion because I’ve never known chili to ‘not have’ beans in it until I saw something about it on a cooking show, and all the Texans were giving the rest of us ‘bean in our chili’ eaters the “thumbs down”. And that’s ok…we forgive them!
In my book chili is an all year around meal because you can dress it up or dress it down according to the season. In the Spring, maybe you want a chili chock-full of full of fresh vegetables, and in the Summer maybe you desire something like a white chicken chili in a light broth. But it is indeed, undisputed that when the breeze begins to roll in from the hills and those leaves begin to burst into shades of burnt orange, cranberry and coffee — I want all the beef and canned tomato goodness with a kiss of peppery heat that one can stand, to fill my bowl to the brim. And this recipe gives you nothing less than that.
This recipe is also great for the adventurer within, so maybe you want to have a campfire in the backyard and invite a few friends or hang with the kids, maybe there’s a camping trip in your near future? This is the chili you’re gonna want for those “chili” nights in the wilderness.
You may be wondering why this chili isn’t smothered in avocado, sour cream, cheese and onions. If you are a lover of toppings then feel free because this chili may need to be cooled down if you’re sensitive to heat but I tend to be a purest if something’s made well and this chili is pretty darn perfect! So grab a warm blanket and eat a bowl…or two for me.
Cast-Iron Skillet Chipotle Chili
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
3 Tablespoons Chipotle Chilies in Adobo (diced)
2 14.5 oz cans Red Beans
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 Heavy Tablespoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (to taste)
1. Place your cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add your ground beef and crumble with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally, breaking down the chunks of beef until meat is fully browned/cooked. Allow the liquid from your beef to reduce by half then, add your chipotle chiles, chili powder, ground cumin, granulated garlic, and salt. Stir until spice are incorporated into the beef but be careful not to burn, you may need to turn down your heat.
2. Drain excess liquid from your beans and add them to the beef along with your tomatoes. While occasionally stirring, you’re going to allow this to cook for about 20-30 minutes until the liquid begins to thicken and you have a hearty looking chili. Then you can taste to see if you need to add anymore seasoning.
Using dry beans: If you opt to use dry beans, simply soak them in luke warm water the night before you prepare the chili, this will cut down you’re cooking time though the beans will still need to be boiled off before allowing to cook in a cast-iron skillet.