Chili Bowl

Of course we’ll eat chili bowl tonight! After having spent almost five years in the States I have come to fully embrace this spicy and flavorful tradition on Super Bowl Sunday. Every year I try to make a different version. This year I used ground beef instead of beef chuck, and I must say, it turned out really good. Having a food blog also followed by Dutch people, I adapted my chili recipe a little to the European market and taste. I do not use all the different kinds of chiles that originally go into a chili. For a smokey flavor I use Pimentón de la Vera, Spanish smoked paprika, instead of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. And I use fewer chiles than Americans tend to do. I like it spicy, but don’t want to set my family on fire. So feel free to add more chiles if you want. Enjoy watching and eating!

Serves 8
Action Time: 25 minutes + at least 2 hours of simmering

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 green chile (jalapeño or serrano), finely chopped (seeds (partly) removed if you want it less spicy)
2 pounds (1 kg) organic ground beef (85% lean/15% fat blend)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 14-oz (400 g) can diced tomatoes
1 bottle of lager beer
a few springs of cilantro, stems finely chopped and leaves kept apart
2 14-oz (400 g) cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

For the spice mixture:
2 tsp oregano
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
½-1 tsp Pimentón de la Vera picante (of use ½-1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce)
1 tsp chili powder

To serve:
sour cream
red onion, thinly sliced
avocado, peeled and diced
grated cheddar cheese
(brown) rice and/or (whole grain) tortillas

1. Mix all the spices for the spice mixture in a small bowl. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and cook onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the green pepper and chile and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add the ground beef, salt and a little freshly ground black pepper, and cook until meat is ‘crumbled’. Mix in the tomato puree, spice mixture, and chopped cilantro stems, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, beer and bring gently to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for 2 hours, but preferably longer. I often cook my chili for 6 hours or so. The longer the cooking time, the better the taste.

3. Mix in the kidney beans 15 minutes before serving. Taste, and add some more salt if needed. Serve in bowls, topped with sour cream, red onion, avocado, cheese, and cilantro leaves. Serve with rice and/or tortillas, and a couple of cold beers.

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