It was paramount that we got this essential recipe right. Mainly because everyone loves a good, old-fashioned chili recipe, but also because chili always works up at the cottage, and in the city for that matter. It’s easy to make and perfect to serve and enjoy as a laid back, relaxed meal option.
We did a ton of testing with this BEST BEEF CHILI RECIPE and know you and your family and friends are going to love it as much as we do. If you’ve searched high and low for a tried-and-true chili recipe, your search is over. Get ready for a seriously delicious dish that’s made with readily available ingredients and enhanced with tasty add-ons and garnish.
‘Nuff said! Let’s make the BEST BEEF CHILI RECIPE… ever!
Back in the spring of 2019, we made a subtle change to the way we produce stories here at Weekend at the Cottage. We started shooting overhead photos of the ingredients used to prepare each recipe. Nothing groundbreaking, but for us, it became an important part of how we visually tell stories.
While shooting the overheads for this, there was a second where I practically laughed out loud. One part of the recipe is a bunch of herbs and spices. The other part is only a few choice ingredients, all of which may already be on hand. The photo in this recipe says it all – simple is this recipe’s middle name!
Many years ago I had the pleasure of appearing at a home show in Houston, Texas. While there, I met a knowledgeable young man famous for his champion chili. Although I cannot remember his name for the life of me, I do remember his sage advice: a bigger spice mix makes for better chili.
I took the chili champ’s words to heart and pulled together an interesting spice combination that really blossoms as this chili slowly cooks. Please don’t second-guess my call for a whopping ¼ cup of chili powder or for the way I include smoky chipotle and dried herbs into the mix. This chili is like a spice road trip!
There are many times where I just stall in the aisle at my local supermarket, unable to make a decision. In this case, the question was, “What peppers go best in a chili recipe made with beef?”
In the end I decided on three: red and green bell peppers, both for sweetness and their perfect colour combination, and a jalapeño to raise the heat a tiny bit more. For whatever it’s worth, I also had two bird’s eye peppers at the ready, but left them out at the last moment. Final verdict – these three peppers were the perfect pick of peppers that Nik had ever picked! Ha!
SLOW AND STEADY
Since this is a chili con carne (meaning one with meat, in this case, chili with ground beef), we felt a slow and steady simmer would help develop really big flavours, and this approach definitely worked. When you go to brown the meat, do as we did and add it just a little at a time. Stirring it in with the spices, onion, celery and garlic ensures it breaks up as it cooks slowly.
There’s yet another slow step in this recipe, coming after the tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers and beans have been added: make sure to stir your pot every so often over the next two hours. Again, slow and steady does the trick. Also watch closely and you’ll notice how the saucy chili thickens and darkens and gets so deliciously perfect. BTW, tasting over the two hours is allowed, and in fact, is strongly suggested!
SERVES US RIGHT
When it comes to serving this BEST BEEF CHILI EVER, we want you to think about it as a free-for-all. Yes, friends, serve it with anything you’d like!
You might want to try the following as garnish: chopped tomatoes and avocado, scallions and red onions, chopped parsley and cilantro, and either sour cream or yoghurt. Even cheese has a place in this recipe – how about grated cheddar or Monterey Jack? Friends have even been known to like it with a squeeze of lime juice, and if the taste stars align, crumbled corn chips with a side of CHEDDAR CORNMEAL MUFFINS.