Shake it up, baby! Who says chili has to be the same thing, every time, every pot? Come cold weather, every couple of weeks, you'll find a big pot of chili simmering away here in our kitchen. To shake it up, to not get bored, we mix up the chili recipes. Often, of course, we follow no recipe, just kinda make it up as we go along. Luckily, chili likes that! We were enamored with tomatillo chili, the distinct "sour" of tomatillos really works in chili. So maybe you want to follow this recipe (it's a good one, I promise) or maybe you just want to tuck some tomatillos into your own make-it-up-as-you-make-chili. Either way, tomatillos belong in chili.
MEAT? Really, at A Veggie Venture? Yes, A Veggie Venture is about vegetables but it's not 100% vegetarian. And while 95 percent of the site is veg(etari)an, occasionally I post a recipe for the readers who, like me, are vegetable-crazy omnivores. (Note to Vegetarians)
RECIPE for BEEFY TOMATILLO CHILI
Time to table: 7 hours
Makes 16 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt & pepper
VEGETABLES & BEANS
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 poblano chili, diced small
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and quartered
1 tablespoon garlic
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounces canned spicy chili beans with liquid
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
15 ounces canned tomatillos, drained, rinsed and puréed in a blender
MEAT In a large Dutch oven (or a large skillet if using the slow cooker later), heat the oil until shimmery, add as much meat as can be cooked in a single layer (it should sizzle) and season with salt and pepper. Let the pieces brown on one side for two to three minutes before tossing, repeat until all sides are browned. (Really let the meat brown, a few pieces can even take on a little burn.) Set aside (in the slow cooker if cooking in a crockpot). Repeat with remaining meat pieces.
VEGETABLES & BEANS In the same pot, heat the water, then add the onion, pepper and tomatillos as they're prepped and cook just until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
To COOK in the OVEN Set oven to 200F/100C. Add the meat back into the pot, then stir in tomatoes, beans, cumin, chili powder and canned tomatillos. Stir together and bring to a boil. Transfer to the oven to slow cook for 5 – 6 hours. About an hour before serving, check the chili; adjust the seasoning and if needed to thicken, uncover for the last hour.
To COOK in a CROCKPOT In the slow cooker, combine the cooked meat and the onion-poblano-tomatillo mixture, then stir in tomatoes, beans, cumin, chili powder and canned tomatillos. Cook on high for 6 hours or 8 - 10 hours on low. About an hour before serving, check the chili; adjust the seasoning and if needed to thicken, uncover for the last hour.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
VOLUME This recipe makes one huge pot of chili – be sure your pot is big enough! Or divide between a couple of pots. It does freeze beautifully too.
BEEF Be sure to cook the beef into bite-size pieces, otherwise they'll get lost in the chili. You could sure use ground meat here too, no problem. The chili is sauce-y enough that it could manage more meat, up to another pound and a half or so. It depends on your taste. Oh – and would this be fantastic with pork? You bet! (We just have a freezer full of beef ... I miss pork!)
CANNED TOMATILLOS These are kind of hard to find! I did find some the first time we made this chili, but it turns out more green than red in color with tomatillos. (The chili in the photo was made with extra tomatoes instead of extra tomatillos.) But they're not essential. You could leave them out entirely or hmmm, maybe use a jar of green chili sauce which usually has tomatillos in it. Or you could purée a can of diced tomatoes. (I wouldn't use tomato sauce though, I don't know, it's too sauce-y or something.)
TIMING Consider making this chili the day before serving. Both times, I was surprised how long it took for the flavors to really develop.
HEAT & SWEET As written, the chili is on the mild side, those who really like heat will want to ramp up the chili powder and hot sauce. With the second pot, I also found myself wanting just a little bit of sweetness to balance the tomatillos and added about a quarter cup of barbecue sauce.
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MORE FAVORITE CHILI RECIPES~ Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle ~
~ Vegan Chickpea Gumbo ~
~ Quick Green Chile Stew ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Chillin': Favorite Chili, Chowder & Cornbread Recipes ~
~ Chocolate Chili ~
~ Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ~
~ White Chicken Chili ~
~ more chili recipes ~
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