Our Favorite Chili

This recipe, particularly at this time of year, takes me back to my days as a “Hockey Mom”.  I can’t remember how many batches of this chili I made when my sons were high school hockey players; always taking it over to the rink in a big crockpot, accompanied with the usual garnishes.  We hockey moms took great pride in our chili.  We sold hundreds of bowls of homemade chili at the intermissions during those high school games, enough to garner us the reputation of best chili in the Northshore area.  The bowls and garnishes, chopped onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream, would be set out on long tables and fans would load up their hot chili with their favorite toppings.  It was a great way to warm up, as our rink was also the coldest in the area.  Today I’m eating chili for lunch and enjoying the memories of those winters past.  I’m also looking forward to a little vacation this coming week; see more about that below**.

Our Favorite Chili
(makes 8-10 servings, about 12 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
8 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 pound ground veal
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with extra puree
1 3/4 cups chicken stock (or 1 14 ounce can low-sodium chicken stock)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 12 ounce bottle lager beer
1 14-16 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained
2 teaspoons finely minced canned chipotle chile
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the canned chipotles

In a 7-8 quart, heavy Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onion and garlic, with a large pinch of kosher salt, and saute until softened.  Add the ground meats and stir, breaking up the meat and cooking until the meat is no longer pink.  (At this point, you can spoon out a little of the extra fat from the pot, if you like).  Add the spices and stir to coat the meat, cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, beer, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Simmer the mixture for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the consistency is to your liking.  Add the drained beans, the  minced chipotles and adobo sauce, and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.  Cool and store in the refrigerator, or portion into freezer containers and freeze for future use.  We like sharp shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onions, and sour cream with our chili.  It also makes great nachos, garnished with a little guacamole and cilantro.  If you like a few more vegetables in your chili, feel free to add some chopped celery and bell pepper along with the onion and garlic.  Adjust the spiciness with more or less chipotle chile. 
(adapted from Epicurious, Halftime Chili)

**We’re off to Scotland for a week; to visit the birthplace of my Grandparents.  This was our practice for the distillery tour. 


  • Renee

    Your recipe looks delicious – I love chipotle in chili. And sometimes just for fun I add a tablespoon or two of cocoa. It’s pretty yum. With the weather getting colder here, I’ve been craving chili too πŸ™‚

  • Camille

    Ce chili est délicieux!! Merci d’avoir partagé cette recette, elle deviendra sûrement un classique chez moi!

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