Chili, Two Ways

The temperature dipped below seventy degrees and I caught my first cold of the season. Rather than making the summertime weekly burger with the ground bison in the fridge, it was cold (and rainy, and windy) enough to make chili. The Halftime Chili recipe reminds me of my mother’s chili growing up, and then below, Cook’s Illustrated has a new take on the old favorite with bacon and black beans.

Halftime Chili
Bon Appétit | January 1996
by Richard Snyder: Santa Monica, California

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 pounds ground chuck
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 15- to 16-ounce can prepared chili beans
Preparation
Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chuck and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover. Rewarm over low heat before serving.)

And for a new take on this classic:
Bacon and Black bean Chili
Cooks Illustrated, Best New Recipes Cookbook
Ingredients:
8 slices bacon, cubed or sliced into slim slivers
2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons coriander (I didn’t have on hand, and omitted)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 lbs ground beef or ground bison
2 15oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15oz can of tomato puree (or, 1/2 cup tomato paste with 1/2 cup water)
2 15oz can of black beans, drained of juices from can
*We added two jalapenos, diced without seeds when we added in the tomatoes and beans – I loved this addition.
Preparation:
In large dutch oven on medium heat, cook bacon until it browned/cooked to your liking; add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, red pepper and cayenne to dutch oven with bacon and cook until onions have softened, about ten minutes. Then add the ground beef or bison to the pot, breaking up into small bits until no longer pink and slightly browned. Then add diced tomatoes, tomato puree and black beans and cook until boiling, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour. Take cover off after an hour, and cook one hour more. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, etc.

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