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This is my chili recipe that I've been working on for about 15 years. It freezes well, and is the perfect food for a cold winter night. There are a lot of extra ingredients in here which I think make it special, but if you don't have them you could leave them out & you would still have some really great chili. Optional items you could leave out with no harm done: sofrito, Rotel, beef broth, coriander, smoked hot paprika. I make this with ground beef or ground turkey and beans, but if you wanted to be more traditional, you could use 3 pounds of cubed beef, or if you wanted to go veggie you could use 2 cans of kidney beans and 1 can of chick peas and no beef. Sofrito is a mixture of onion, garlic, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cilantro & spices. Many recipes can be found for it here on Zaar, and I highly recommend making some & freezing it in 1/2 cup portions - it is wonderful & can be used in many dishes. N.B. - Smoked hot paprika is hot, so if you're not into hot stuff you might want to leave it out.
- 1⁄4 lb bacon, diced or 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup onions or 1 cup shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 cup celery, roughly chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup sofrito sauce
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 (10 ounce) canrotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can light kidney beans
- 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Place the onions (or shallots), celery, green pepper, red pepper, & garlic in a food processor and process until they are a smooth puree.
- In a large stock pot, saute the diced bacon until it is browned. Drain off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Return the two tablespoons of bacon fat to the bacon in the pot and saute the ground beef in the bacon fat until it has browned. *If you don't wish to use bacon you can use two tablespoons of olive oil here*.
- Add the onion/celery/bell pepper/garlic puree to the beef and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add all other ingredients and stir to mix well.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, covered over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve.
- This is even better if you make it the day ahead. Refrigerate, the reheat and remove the bay leaves before serving.