Game Day Chili Recipe

Hey Folks,

Long time friend of Northern Norman stopping in to deliver a gameday goodie, eh! As a Browns fan at heart, I’ve had a lot of spare time on Sunday evenings over the past several years (circa < 2018) to refine some recipes. I wanted to start things off with a game day chili recipe that’ll keep your clan coming back for more.

Items you’ll need:

Veggies:

  • 1 large carrot.
  • 2 stocks of celery.
  • 1 large yellow or Spanish onion.
  • 3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1 bell pepper (let’s say yellow – to get some gold in there).
  • 1 poblano pepper.
    • Remove the seeds to reduce the spiciness of this pepper – with hot peppers, most of the kick is in the seeds.
  • 2 28 oz cans of crushed or diced tomatoes.
    • A fun fact with tomatoes – often the freshest tomatoes in your grocery store are provided in canned form. At tomato farms – tomatoes that will be canned are picked from the vine when they are at their ripest (and most flavorful)! Tomatoes for sale in the produce section are picked when still green, so that when they arrive at the grocery store they are just beginning to turn red. This offers more time for canned tomatoes to be on the vine, giving them more time to ripen and absorb flavor!

Legumes:

  • 1 15 oz can of dark red kidney beans or pinto beans.
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans).
    • Feel free to swap any of these beans with some of your own favorite beans! They all substitute out very well for one another.

Meat:

  • 2 lbs ground beef – I’d recommend going with a lean blend.
  • 1 lb ground chorizo.
    • You can substitute a firmed-type chorizo sausage if this is easier to locate – just dice it up into small pieces.
  • 1 cup beef broth.

Spice:

  • 4 tbs paprika or smoked paprika.
  • 5 tbs chili powder.
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper.
  • 4 tbs cumin.
  • 1 tbs oregano.
  • 1 tbs ground black pepper.
  • 1 tbs salt + extra to taste.

Others:

  • 1 tbs olive oil.
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar.

Accoutrements:

  • Nacho chips or your favorite flavor of Doritos.
  • Fresh cilantro.
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (make sure it is NOT vanilla).

Step 1: Prepare veggies.

Peel and dice the carrot & onion (editor’s note: this is a good knife and sharpener). Rinse and dice the celery & peppers. Peel & mince the garlic (to power through garlic: cut the base of the clove, turn your knife sideways, angle the blade towards the cutting board, and crush the clove with the palm of your hand – the skin should come right off and the flattened garlic should be much easier to mince).

Editor’s Note: a garlic press can also work great.

Step 2: Prepare tomatoes, beans, and spice.

Open the canned tomatoes and beans. Rinse the beans in a colander until the rinse water runs clear. Place beans in a bowl.

Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Step 3: Sweat off veggies.

Add the olive oil to a large pot and warm to medium-low heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, and peppers. Cook the mixture until the onions are translucent & there is a beautiful aroma in the air, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 min or until you smell the garlic aroma.

Step 4: Spice time.

Add the spice blend, stir the mixture, and cook for an additional 1 minute. You should smell all the spices rising in the air as they toast slightly.

Step 5: Meat time.

Add the ground meat to your pot. Add both cans of tomatoes, all the beans, the beef broth, and the balsamic vinegar. Stir the mixture, cover it, and raise the temperature to medium.

Step 6: Slow cook.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low. Place the lid so that it is slightly cracked open to allow excess moisture to leave the pot. Slow cook the mixture until the meat is cooked or as long as you’d like (the longer, the better). I cooked this batch for 1-1.5h. At this step, you could transfer everything to a slow cooker and let it rest on its low setting for many hours.

Step 7: Season the finished product.

When the meat is cooked and it’s time to eat, first taste your chili for seasoning. Take a small tablespoon of the chili and blow on it. Taste it and consider if the chili needs more salt. We purposefully added less salt at the beginning, because the best time to season your food is just before eating it! Feel free to add a bit more black pepper here as well, if you’d like (editor’s note: fresh ground pepper is a good way to go).

Step 8: Serve it up!

I like to have my chili served in a big bowl with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, some fresh cilantro leaves, and a few chips for dipping!

Editor’s Note: This post includes links to products on Amazon. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we may make a commission.