Even if you’re a novice cook, you probably have a handful of recipes to which you return again and again—in this time of shelter-in-place, perhaps even more than once or twice a week. Our Test Kitchen Director, Belle English, has had years of experience in the kitchen to develop her own collection of go-to recipes, and it’s full of many of the simple preparations (roast salmon fillets, Ina’s Perfect Roast Chicken, tzatziki, sweet potato oven fries) to which we can all relate.
This recipe for chili is one Belle commonly makes with friends or family for game day gatherings or a weekend lunch. The ingredients list can also be divided neatly in half if she’s cooking for herself with plenty of leftovers remaining to span over several meals—re-imagined as a side for scrambled eggs, a topping for nachos or baked potato skins, or spooned over a bowl of quinoa or crisp greens.
Quick and Dirty Chili
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, pork or chicken
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. chipotle powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 bottle beer or chicken stock
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each) beans (kidney, black or pinto)
- 1 cup chicken stock, or as needed
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
- Shredded green cabbage
- Chopped cilantro
- Hot sauce
In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm oil. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and garlic and continue to cook, stirring often, until the garlic is golden and the peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes longer. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine, then add all the spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beer and stir with the wooden spoon to deglaze the pot, scraping up all the browned bits from the pot bottom. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and the reserved cooked beef to the pot. Bring to a brisk simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If needed during cooking, stir in up to 1 cup of chicken stock until desired consistency is reached.
Season the chili to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serves 8–10.