A hot stew is perfect for cold winter weather, and nothing warms the body and the palate like a bowl of chili. Whether you’d like to try a Texan “bowl o’ red” or an inventive and tangy verde, you’re sure to find a version that piques your appetite among these piquant chili recipes.
Since chile peppers are the namesake ingredient in any good bowl of chili, you’ll notice a world of difference if you skipped the store-bought chile paste and opt for whole peppers. This recipe for beef chili calls for a variety of whole chiles like ancho and guajillo, which are the dried versions of poblanos and mirasol chiles respectively. None of these chile varieties are punishingly hot, but they will impart both an enjoyable kick as well as a delightful blend of smokey flavors. A little brown sugar adds sweetness to the pot, while fire-roasted tomatoes provide body and richness. To save time while preparing the meat, this recipe recommends that you brown the beef in larger portions, then cut into small pieces once they’ve come off of the heat.
Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili
Chili is an extraordinarily versatile dish, and you can even swap the carne out for tasty veggies for a totally new flavor profile. This vegetarian chili is loaded with chunky corn, salsa, and a variety of beans. The recipe lists pinto, red kidney, and black beans, but you are certainly free to experiment to find the combination that suits your own tastes. A few cups of vegetable broth can add flavor and volume without adding too much sodium, and sliced pickled jalapeños can be served on top for just a little spice.
While there are countless ways to cook chili today, the modern recipes all sprang from the original preparations that were developed Mexico. These traditional dishes became immensely popular in the U.S. more than a century ago after tourists encountered women serving the stew in open-air stands in the plazas of San Antonio. This recipe for carne con chile leaves out the tomatoes and beans that were added later, and relies heavily on distinctive dried chiles like earthy chipotle.
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