Small packets of homemade chili in the freezer are part of my philosophy to make healthy food convenient…all summer long.
It may sound crazy but now is the ideal time to stir up a big pot of chili before your kitchen gets too hot to turn on the stove.
In another week or two, I plan to share several ideas for impromptu meals using these chili packets and I’m not even talking about chili-cheese hot dogs though they are quite popular with the men in my family and this chili complements a hotdog quite nicely.
This is a basic chili that lends itself to all kinds of variations and mutations. (See notes at the end for ideas.) Don’t let the chocolate scare you off. The taste is unrecognizable but somehow, it mysteriously adds depth and smoothness while blending the flavors. Leave it out if you prefer–this recipe will still be fabulous.
By the way, the mismatched shoe picture was not a set-up. My unnamed relative actually wore these shoes an entire evening before noticing they weren’t a pair. Her fresh pedicure pulls the look together rather nicely, don’t you think?
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped frozen onions
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) peeled and diced tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 6 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons corn masa (“Masa Harina de maiz”)
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate baking bar
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Brown meat in large dutch oven. Drain excess grease. Add onions and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and spices including bay leaves. Simmer 1 hour.
- Remove bay leaves and stir in corn masa until smooth; then add chocolate. Continue simmering for 10 more minutes to combine flavors. Freezes well.
- If you don’t have corn masa hanging around the house and don’t want to buy it for just two tablespoons, you can substitute flour or even leave it out. Add flour along with the spices before the hour-long simmer.
- Fresh onions can be substituted for the frozen. I prefer frozen because they are milder and easier on the digestive system after the freezing process-and they’ve never made me cry.
- Step up the heat by adding hot sauce, chopped jalapenos, or some chopped chipotles.
- I like to add beans to my chili when eating it straight in a bowl. Some would scoff, but they probably wouldn’t add tomatoes either.
- Even better the next day which will also give you a chance to remove any congealed fat off the top.