And just what is Man Chili, you ask? Well, it ain’t the chili I grew up eating, that’s for sure. Chili is supposed to have beans. However, the men in my family determined that they don’t like beans in their chili so I started making it for them without beans, hence the name Man Chili. And I have to admit, this is pretty tasty. Lots of peppers and spice, a little tomato and a lot of meat—and you can throw a pot of beans on the side and mix together if you like.
I usually make this for a pretty large crowd, so this recipe is about a third of what I use. But this makes enough for 5-6 people, depending on how big the appetites are and what you serve with it. Around here we just have cornbread, but you could have a side dish of vegetables or maybe even a salad.
Start with a couple of pounds of ground chuck or sirloin and brown in a large Dutch oven.
Once the meat is browned, remove it to a strainer (and don’t strain into your sink, strain over a bowl) and then add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Heat the oil for a minute or so, then add chopped onion, garlic and peppers to the pot. You can use any combination of peppers, just depending on how hot you want the chili. I typically use a jalapeño, maybe an Anaheim or Serrano, and a chipotle—or maybe 2 jalapenos and one chipotle or whatever I have on hand. Jalapenos and Serranos are hotter, so be careful of those. We like it pretty spicy.
Once the vegetables are soft and just starting to brown a little, put the meat back in the pot and add a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, a bottle of good flavored beer, 1 cup of water and spices. I use several tablespoons of chili powder, cumin, ancho chili powder and a little crushed red pepper and cayenne.
Bring the chili to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Those chunks of tomato will cook down and blend in and you won’t even know they’re there, but they will add nice flavor. Taste and add salt and pepper and additional seasonings as needed. You may notice there are three different pots in the photos above. Don’t ask. And don’t worry, you will be able to make this chili using just one pot.
The chili needs to simmer for at least an hour and you can leave it on the stove on low for quite a while, which makes this the perfect fall party dish. I love it when I can make something well ahead of time for guests to arrive, so the kitchen is fully cleaned and I’m not cooking while everyone is there.
Top your chili with grated cheese, sour cream, some chopped green onions or whatever you like. Cracker Barrel has come out with a new white Cheddar with jalapenos which goes well with chili. And please ignore that little Jiffy cornbread muffin in the corner. I know. That’s not real cornbread, but it’s what my husband likes. But I will post a recipe for real cornbread soon.
- 2.5 pounds ground chuck or sirloin
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 Anaheim or serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (Anaheim is mild, serrano is hot)
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 bottle dark beer
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt or salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
- Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- Brown meat in large Dutch oven. Remove to strainer (strain over a bowl, not in the sink).
- Add olive oil or vegetable oil to the Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat.
- When oil is hot, add onions, peppers and garlic and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft and just starting to brown a little.
- Add meat back into pot.
- Add tomatoes, beer, water and seasonings. Depending on how spicy you like chili, you might want to start with half the seasonings listed and then taste later to see if you want to add more.
- Bring chili to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
- Cook for at least an hour or two, stirring frequently. Taste halfway through because you might need to add more seasonings.
- Serve with grated cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream or other toppings.