Hearty Autumn Chili

What’s better than a warm bowl of homemade chili on a cool autumn day? The only thing I can think of is eating that warm bowl of chili and watching your favorite football team go 16-0 (Go Stanford!). Of course, even without the game the chili is still really great!

I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite sites, Simply Recipes and combined it with a recipe from my mom’s close friend who would make her chili recipe each year for her husband’s birthday…which also happened to be my birthday too! I like a hearty chili so I doubled the beans and added in ground turkey. A few other little changes and voila! The perfect autumn chili for cheering on your favorite team.


  • 2 Tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 3-4 Tbsp water
  • 4 strips bacon
  • One 2 1/2 pound chuck roast, cut into bite sized 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chili peppers, stems removed, seeded, ribs removed, minced
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can dark beer
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 14-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt
  • Grated cheddar cheese, green onion and sour cream for garnish


1. In a small bowl mix the chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, and ground coriander seeds. Mix in water so that chili forms a light paste. Set aside.

The first picture below is the coriander seeds being ground up in a mortar and pestle. These are pretty inexpensive, just make sure to get one that has a heavy base so you can give your seeds, or whatever you are grinding, a firm smashing. It also helps to have deep sides since seeds like to jump out in the process.

2. When making a chili or stew, I like to use the same pot for everything to keep all the flavors together. So I cooked the bacon in my Dutch Oven. It was not ideal, but got the job done.

Remove the bacon and set on a paper towel. (According to the recipe, you are supposed to add the bacon back into the chili at the end. Mine for some reason did not last long enough to be added back in.) Pour the bacon fat into a separate container.

3. Increase heat to medium high, add back in 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat. Working in batches so that you don’t crowd the beef (crowding will steam cook the meat instead of browning it), brown the beef cubes on all sides, lightly salting as you cook the beef. Do not over cook because beef will continue to cook when it’s simmering in the chili. Remove beef from pan, set aside.

4. I did not get a picture of this, but the next step is browning the ground up turkey. Season it with salt and pepper as it cooks. Remove when turkey is no longer pink. Drain off liquid, and set aside with the cooked beef.

5. Add another tablespoon of bacon fat to the pot (at this point, my Dutch Oven was well used and needed a washing before moving onto this step). Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, and celery cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Side note: be careful chopping the jalapeno. If you remove all the seeds and white ribs, and give it a rinse, you’ve removed most all the spiciness and just have the flavor left. However, do not use your finger to scrap out the ribs as I did (rookie maneuver!) because the oil lingers. It’s apparently hard to get rid of with soap and water and hours later still packs a punch if you rub your eye!

6. Now it’s time to add everything in! Add the beef, ground turkey, 2 cans of tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, beer, water, lime juice and sugar and give it a good stir (feel free to sample it if you like).

Heat the chili on medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for a half hour. If you have time, you can uncover a cook for another half hour, keeping the temperature at a place where you can maintain a simmer. I found that even cooking it for just half and hour made a great chili; I could not wait any longer, my house smelled amazing and the game had already started. The longer you cook it, the more intense the flavors become. If the chili becomes too thick, add in some water or more beer.

7. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onion. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy…as we did below!


Serves 4 to 6.

This entry was posted in Beef, Main Dish, Soups, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hearty Autumn Chili

  1. Xian says:

    That Chili was the bomb! Please make it again soon. 🙂

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