This is a sponsored post on behalf of Ontario Corn Fed Beef. Thanks for supporting the brands that help to keep the Crumb test kitchen running! All opinions are entirely my own, as always.
Every season has its rituals. Spring is all about rediscovering fresh local produce after a long winter, and eating as much rhubarb as I can stand. Summer is about barbecues, corn on the cob, juicy ripe tomatoes and peaches, and big fat salads. Winter is about slow braises and hearty soups simmered for hours on the stovetop while the cold wind blows outside.
And fall? For most people, it might be about apple cider or pumpkin spice… but for me, it’s not really fall until I’ve made my first pot of chili.
I’m talking about big, honking batches of the stuff, because I’m incapable of making chili in any quantity besides “humongous” and “ridiculous”.
I’ve made so many batches over the years that I no longer follow a recipe. I just throw a bunch of stuff into the pot until it tastes good – sometimes it’s chunks of chorizo with a six-bean blend, sometimes it’s black beans and pumpkin, sometimes it’s ground turkey with sweet peppers and corn and white kidney beans.
This version, though, is very much about going back to the basics and focusing on just the essentials – chunks of tender slow-cooked beef, hearty pinto beans, and rich layered blend of spices that balances between savoury, smoky and sweet, with just enough heat to keep you warm on a chilly fall evening.
And while the long ingredient list might seem daunting, trust me when I say that this chili is easy enough to throw together on a rainy weekend afternoon.
It’s as simple as throwing everything into your largest, heaviest pot, and then letting it simmer away while you relax for a few hours, preferably with the company of a good book and a snuggly cat.
The hours-long simmer not only breaks down tough stewing beef into melt-in-your-mouth tenderness… it also blends that long list of ingredients into a perfect balance of spicy, smoky and sweet that is the hallmark of a great bowl of chili. The secret? A can of dark beer and a dollop of molasses, along with a generous dash of chipotle powder.
It’s the kind of food that’ll warm you right down to your toes. Because, after all, isn’t that what fall is really about?
- 2 lb Ontario Corn Fed stewing beef or chuck roast, cut into ½” cubes
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chipotle powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups dark beer or beef stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can (28oz / 796 ml) diced plum tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 2 cans (14oz / 398 ml) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- Chopped cilantro
- Grated cheddar
- Chopped green onions
- Sour cream