I’ve done a quick chili before, but this one goes even faster thanks to a few tricks learned from my quick spaghetti and meat sauce. Specifically, adding a bit of pork, in the form of bacon at the beginning really boosts the flavor from the get-go.
Also, by mincing and grating the aromatics, it greatly speeds up the time to caramelize them. Onions cut in a dice might take 40 minutes to fully caramelize, but if you mince them fine enough, they’ll caramelize in about 10 minutes. This way you’re able to get all the great umami and flavor that forms through the Maillard Reaction, without taking as much time.
While premixed chili powder will work just fine, this chili is even better with a homemade chili powder. It only adds about 10 minutes of work to make the powder, but trust me, the aroma coming from the pot of chili will make it worth the effort!
Lastly on the topic of beans, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, groaning that “real chili doesn’t have beans.” If that’s the style of chili that you like, feel free to leave them out, this will still taste great without them, but personally I like a few beans in my chili. As for the type of beans, for quick chilies I prefer using borlotti beans (a.k.a. cranberry beans) or pinto beans because their skins tend to be more tender than kidney beans. But any cooked beans (unseasoned) you have on hand will work here, even chickpeas.
Serve this with condiments such as cheese, chopped red onion, cilantro, sour cream and hot sauce. It also goes really well with a big hunk of my triple cornbread.
- 1.4 ounces (40 grams, or about 1 thick cut slice) bacon, minced
- 5.6 ounces (160 grams or about 1 small) onion, finely diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeds and stem removed, finely diced
- 1.8 ounces (50 grams, or about 1/2 small) carrot, peeled and grated
- .35 ounces (10 grams, or about 2 medium cloves) garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 pound (453 grams) ground beef
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small can (14 ounces) whole stewed tomatoes
- 1 small can (14 ounces) cooked beans, drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Put the bacon in a heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium-heat, rendering out the fat and browning.
- Add the onion, poblano pepper, carrot and garlic and saute until well browned and caramelized (about 10 minutes).
- Add the wine and boil until it no longer smells like alcohol.
- Add the ground beef, water, stewed tomatoes, cooked beans, chili powder, tomato paste and salt and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, but do not stir.
- After 5 minutes, stir the mixture, breaking up the meat into chunks, and smashing the tomatoes. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, or until the chili is your desired thickness. Adjust salt to taste, and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.