Falling for Chili

When the days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool off, I start thinking about making some chili. It’s a protein-packed, warm and filling dish – especially good for those weekend game days. The key to a good chili is in the spices and sautéing your chili spices ahead of time really helps bring out the flavors.


Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

October is also National Chili Month (who knew?) and as you can imagine, there are a ton of chili recipes out there to choose from because it is a great base to add a signature spin or secret ingredient. From white bean and chicken, to a 4 bean bonanza, some with meat, some without, mild spiced or smokin’ hot, the sky is the limit.

I love making batches of my Stadium Apple Chili during this time of year. It starts with chunks of tender pork, lots of spices, onions, a bottle of NW brew, tomatoes and kidney beans. I then add in a chopped apple for a touch of sweetness and let that slowly simmer on the stovetop or in a crockpot until it is ready to serve. I am always sure to make a lot because YOU KNOW it’s always better the next day.

You can definitely serve it with lots of tasty toppings too. My top choices are always sour cream, grated Northwest cheeses like Tillamook Cheddar, crisp white onions, and spicy jalapeños. I also like to crush up corn chips to add some crunch too!

So don’t let the chilly weather get you down – warm up with some chili! –Kathy

Stadium Apple Chili

Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dry whole oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
 Serve with a variety of toppings like fresh salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, diced avocado, and fresh cilantro. For a vegetarian version substitute the pork and sausage with a plant based ground meat alternative and boost up the spices.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Time: 8 hours
Makes: about 8 – 10 servings

1 pound ground chorizo sausage (or substitute ground beef or pork and add in some red chili flakes for heat)
1 pound boneless pork butt cut in 3/4-inch – 1-inch cubes
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (depending upon the spiciness you like)
1 tablespoon dry oregano leaves
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (12 oz) bottle of lager style beer (or substitute 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth)
1 (4 oz.) small can diced green chilies
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree
3 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and pork, cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Quickly transfer meats to crockpot – saving the pan for the next step.

To the pan add the onion and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Then add the garlic, chili powders, oregano, and cumin. Stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Then add the beer, stir and immediately transfer to the crock pot.

Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot, gently stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on October 6th, 2020  |  Comments Off on Falling for Chili |  Posted in Uncategorized

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