Beef & Chorizo Chili | The Rising Spoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Beef & Chorizo Chili

An easy recipe for a flavorful beef & chorizo chili that's smoky and slightly spicy. Perfect for the meat lovers in your life or anyone who wants a warm comforting meal with simple ingredients. 

Beef & Chorizo Chili

Because springtime in Texas apparently means 85-degree temps with tornado warnings one day, then 40-degree chill fests the very next day, I think a warm bowl of comfort food is in order. 

I'm sure those of you buried in random April blizzards will appreciate the hot foods. Also, Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching.

(If chili's not your thing, there's always creamy tomato soup, beef stroganoff soup, or creamy chicken noodle soup to keep you full & cozy.

Ahem. After several years of experimentation, with many ho-hum attempts in between, let me humbly present my favorite beef chili recipe

Okay, maybe not so humbly. Guys, this chili is really really GOOD.

Honest to goodness. I served this chili to my family with cornbread waffles when we all gathered last month for my grandma's 90th birthday celebration (photographic evidence below). 

Everyone loved it (3 guys and 2 gals) and my grandma said it was the best chili she'd ever eaten (although I sure do create a lot of dishes). I'll take that compliment any day!


I grew up eating Kansas-style chili made with ground beef, onion, garlic, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and William's chili seasoning, then topped with shredded cheddar cheese and Fritos corn chips.

But, living in North Texas with access to good Mexican food has really spoiled me. Now I want ALL the flavor, spice, and heat. This kinda chili tastes bland to me now. Almost like something's missing.

I tried adding "secret" ingredients like cocoa powder or beer to the base recipe to improve it. (So many folks on the interwebz swear by this.) It didn't make a big difference.

So, I scrapped my childhood recipe and started fresh with some of my favorite Tex-Mex ingredients.

Ingredients That Make This Beef Chili Stand Apart


Here are the three key ingredients that make this chili recipe unique and add the secret sauce flavor. (Hint: I know you might be tempted for convenience, but don't skip them!)


1. Mexican Chorizo 


Yes, I know this is a beef chili recipe but using equal parts beef and pork increases the fat content (fat = flavor) so it's way better tasting, especially if you're like me and use lean 100% grass-fed beef.

Chorizo is a Mexican pork sausage that is fresh (uncooked), ground, and packed with a ton of spices. Not to be confused with Spanish chorizo, which is dried and cured. Look for Mexican chorizo in the pork section of your meat/butcher's counter. They may sell it as bulk ground meat or in sausage link casings (just cut those off and discard).

If possible, find one that has plenty of seasonings added. Look for a deep red color. My favorite chorizo that I get locally (and used in this recipe) is the Chorizo Huetamo (spicy Michoacan-style chorizo) from Central Market. If you can't find Mexican chorizo nearby, you can make your own homemade chorizo with plain ground pork and spices. 

Beef & Chorizo Chili: An easy recipe for flavorful chili that's smoky and slightly spicy. Perfect for the meat lovers in your life or anyone who wants a warm comforting meal with simple ingredients.


2. Chiles en Adobe Sauce 

This is the main ingredient in the chili that really sets the overall recipe apart (in my opinion). One little humble can of chiles en adobe sauce contains chipotle peppers (dried smoked jalapenos) in an adobo sauce that is tangy and slightly sweet. So many recipes call for a single chipotle from one of these cans. Ummm...no. I'm more of a dump it all in kinda gal. This ingredient gives the base of the chili a deep smokiness with a bit of tang. 

A can of this is less than $2 at pretty much any grocery store, so it's very affordable. Look for it in the imported or Mexican foods aisle. If you can't find it locally, you can grab a can online through Amazon. I strongly recommend ordering it online if you can't find it locally instead of omitting it altogether since it's a key ingredient.

FYI: To make this recipe paleo/primal or whole30 compliant (you'd need to omit the beans & double check the seasonings on the chorizo, as well) use homemade chipotle in adobo sauce. Why? Every brand I've ever tried or found at the store contains a small amount of some type of vegetable oil (soybean or canola usually). I typically avoid those oils as they're not real food, but my food philosophy is closer to the 80/20 rule and not about perfectionism, so I go ahead and use canned chipotle chiles for convenience. 

3. Good-Quality Chili Powder 


You want something that's fresh, isn't loaded with salt or MSG, and has a good blend of spices along with the powdered chile. My favorite right now is the Chili Powder Blend from The Real Pantry. It contains red chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, and oregano--that's it! 

When I made this for my family, I also used a bag of The Real Pantry's Moist Maple Cornbread Mix in my no-mess waffle maker to make cornbread waffles. I omitted the sweetener (since I wanted savory waffles for chili) and they turned out really yummy! I want to try them again soon with my homemade cornbread muffins recipe as a base. 


Beef & Chorizo Chili

One Important Tip For Making Good Chili

Chili is one of those dishes that tastes better the longer it cooks (or sits in the fridge to let the flavors develop). That secret ingredient no one tells you? Time.

So, this is NOT a 30-minutes from start-to-finish kind of recipe for times when you're rushed and need a quick dinner. Could you make it that way? Sure, but it won't taste anywhere as good.

It's best to make it the day before (or earlier in the week) for easy meal planning OR start it on a day when you have a few hours to spare. I like to let mine simmer for at least an hour, which isn't a huge time commitment, but long enough to bring out the flavors.

More Tex-Mex Recipes

Looking for more yummy Tex-Mex recipes to try? Check out more of my favorites:

Yield: Serves: 6

Beef & Chorizo Chili

prep time: 30 MINScook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 30 mins
An easy recipe for flavorful beef & chorizo chili that's smoky and slightly spicy. Perfect for the meat lovers in your life or anyone who wants a warm comforting meal with simple ingredients.

ingredients:


  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (like avocado oil, ghee, olive oil, or bacon grease)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lb. of ground Mexican pork chorizo (fresh, not cured)
  • 1 lb. of 100% grass-fed ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons of salt-free chili powder seasoning (I used this blend from The Real Pantry)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt (adjust up or down based on the saltiness of your ingredients)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (7 oz) can of chiles en adobo sauce (or homemade chipotle peppers in adobo sauce), diced & not drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of homemade beef or chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pinto beans, drained
  • Toppings for serving (optional - added to each bowl):
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onion
  • skillet cornbread, cornbread muffins, cornbread waffles, tortilla chips, or grain-free tortilla chips

instructions:


  1. Set a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the cooking oil, let it warm a minute, then add the ground beef, ground chorizo, chili powder seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper. 
  2. Cook the meat, stirring & breaking it into chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula until the meat is cooked through and the spices are evenly distributed (about 10 minutes). 
  3. Add the onion, sweet bell pepper, and poblano peppers. Cook another 10 minutes to let the veggies start to soften, then add the garlic, chiles en adobe sauce, tomato sauce, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and pinto beans. 
  4. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low or low. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes to let some of the liquid evaporate (optional - you can leave the lid on the whole time if you like it soupier).
  5. Ladle into bowls, garnish with your favorite toppings and serve immediately while hot. Leftovers freeze and reheat well (if there are any).
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An easy recipe for flavorful beef & chorizo chili that's smoky and slightly spicy. Perfect for the meat lovers in your life or anyone who wants a warm comforting meal with simple ingredients.

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