Chili: A Convenient Crowd-Pleaser
There are some topics that are so divisive they must be banned from family gatherings lest they cause irreparable splits--politics, Red Sox versus Yankees, pineapple on pizza, and what ingredients should or shouldn't be added to chili. If you don't know what makes chili so contentious, find a Texan and ask him or her if chili should contain beans. The response could be intense. One thing we can all agree on? Nothing is as soothing on a chilly fall day as a bowl of warm chili.
Conflicting origin stories abound, but it's generally accepted that chili hails from Texas, where it started as a dish of meat cooked with dried chilies and spices (no tomatoes, no beans). As the dish spread around the country over time, cities put their own local spins on chili, adding tomatoes, onions, garlic, new spices like cinnamon, and yes, beans. But one person's abomination is another's culinary classic.
Adaptations aren't limited to the ingredients that go into the chili, but also what it's served with or on. Some serve it over rice. Cincinnati serves it on spaghetti noodles. In St. Louis, you might find it on macaroni, referred to as chili mac. Some Hawaiian-inspired recipes call for the addition of pineapple and brown sugar. Some eat it with cornbread on the side, others insist on cinnamon rolls.
Chili is a bowl of infinite flavor possibilities--the proverbial melting pot where you can throw in whatever's on hand and generally come out with something tasty. Try one of these versions tonight!
This traditional take on tomato-based chili with Certified Piedmontese 85% lean ground beef is a universal crowd-pleaser.
Lean Great Range ground bison stars in this mildly spicy, chunky white chili, while white beans and poblano peppers shine in the background.
For meaty chunks of lean and tender beef, try Certified Piedmontese stew beef instead of the usual ground beef. In this recipe, it's paired with black beans, peppers, and a whole lot of spice for a stew with gentle heat and rich flavor. Control the heat level by adding more or fewer chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Nothing takes chili to the next level like Certified Piedmontese brisket flat and a few bottles of Guinness stout! Serve with cornbread to make it even better.