Chili is one of my cold weather go-to dishes. Chili, however, is one of those dishes that is a very personal thing, and, as such, has endless variations. But for me, if the chili isn’t spicy, it’s not worth it. I actually always carry a bottle of Tabasco in my purse for any bland food emergencies I may encounter eating out, which tells you something about me. (I also always carry a corkscrew, which tells you even more. I figure that between the two, I have all the important contingencies covered).
Anyway, back to this chili of mine. It’s spicy, but not even three alarm, in my opinion. Of course, there are people who live in my surrounding area who would disagree. But, keep in mind that most of these people would consider ketchup spicy. (Don’t even get me started on how many small, family owned Mexican restaurants in my area whose even moderately spicy food has been “blanded down” by complaints by these folks. It’s really a pity).
Anyway, this chili is a nod to a Mexican/Southwest style by its use of Mexican chorizo blended with ground beef, as well as a serrano pepper and chipolte pepper powder.
This is also a very easy recipe, as it does not require the meat to be browned – the meat is simply cooked in the tomato sauce and water. Not only is this easy and convenient, but also the best way I’ve found to get that fine grained texture to the ground meat – I’m not a fan of big chunks of ground meat. (Of course, if that’s what you like, feel free to pre-brown and leave larger chunks).
This is a nice chili to make for a quick lunch, but, as is the case with all chilis and many soups, it is actually better reheated, so it can also be made ahead and frozen.
Spicy Red Chili
- 1 lb ground beef
- 6 to 8 oz Mexican chorizo, (I use El Popular)
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 serrano pepper, seeds and membranes removed, diced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chipolte pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 15.5 oz can pinto beans, drained
- Place ground beef, chorizo, tomato sauce and water in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil while breaking up meat with spoon until it is a fine, even texture. Boil until meat is mostly cooked through. (Meat will be more brown than pink).
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onions and peppers are soft, about 20 minutes.