Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Chili

As a kid, every year my mom would make a huge pot of chili on Halloween day and we would all gather around and eat it with a large glass of milk before going trick or treating.  It made for an easy one pot meal that would fill everyone up before venturing out in the cold.  It is still one of my fondest memories of Halloween.  For the past 6 years since I've been married, I still carry on the tradition by making a big pot of chili on Halloween night.  This one is a little spicy, very meaty, and full of veggies.  I added in some allspice, which was my grandma's secret ingredient in her stews.  I hope you enjoy it.

A wonderful Halloween tradition
2lb ground beef, preferably grass fed (I used 15% fat organic 100% grass fed beef from Trader Joe's)
1 sweet onion, diced
3c diced green bell peppers (from 2 large peppers)
10oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1tbs minced garlic
3tbs chili powder
1 + 1/4tsp cinnamon
1 + 1/2 tsp cumin
2tsp garlic powder
1 + 1/2tsp fine sea salt
1/2tsp black pepper
1tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you don't like spice)
3/4tsp allspice
1 can fire roasted tomatoes with the juice (Muir Glen is best)
1/2c El Pato tomato sauce (use regular if you don't like spice)
1/2c water
cilantro for garnish, optional

1. In a large stockpot, brown beef over medium-high.  When it's half way done, add the onion, bell pepper and minced garlic and continue to cook until soft.  Add all of your spices and stir well.  Add your fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms and water.  Give it another good stir.
2. When the whole thing is boiling, turn to low and simmer for about 30 minutes (put a lid on for most of it so too much water doesn't evaporate).  Add additional seasonings if needed.  Serve hot with cilantro as a garnish.

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