Winter is the perfect time for a rich bowl of chili to warm your soul!
I like it sunny and warm.
I’m the first to admit that I’m completely spoiled when it comes to the weather — I grew up in Hawaii and San Diego and have now lived in the treacherous weather of Northern California for about 9 years. I can handle a few crisp autumn days as long as the sun is still out, but I have never longed for white winters. When the weather gets chilly I crave bowls of warm soup and hearty stews and chili.
Chili is a recipe that everyone has in some form. I’ve had a lot of different recipes and made a lot of different versions over the years.
Most of my recipes have a special place in my heart, and usually a story to go along with them. I’ve always lived my life through the lens of the flavors, textures, and smells of food and cooking. I experience life and remember special moments by relating them to the recipes that I have prepared while hanging out with my best girlfriends or being in the kitchen with my mom or brother. Places that I’ve traveled are etched into my mind by the memory of the coffee houses that I’ve stopped at or the best ice cream that I ever ate. My husband is no longer shocked when I plan an entire vacation around a crab sandwich or a bowl of clam chowder that I have to try. Everyone does that, Right?
Even this chili recipe also has its own story.
I created this chili recipe with my best friend’s son in mind.
Austin was 5 years old when I first met my friend Tiffany. We are more like family than friends, after all the years and all the things we have been through together. After graduating college and the fire academy, Austin was recently hired as a full-fledged firefighter. (I don’t feel old at all.) I had just come back home after a visit to So Cal and had them all on my mind and I had a bunch of peppers left over from making Chili Verde. I started thinking… every firefighter needs a perfect chili recipe, isn’t that all they eat? Everybody knows that firefighters just cook chili and rescue kittens, right?
He was recently deployed to work his first big fires in Southern California. A scary and exciting time for his mom I’m sure.
Chili is the perfect thing to make a giant batch and keep in the fridge to heat up and eat anytime you aren’t out rescuing kittens from trees!
Chili also freezes really well, so it is a great staple for meal prep. Making a big batch and then freezing half of it portioned out can feed you all winter long.
If you’re in the mood for something warm and tasty, check out our other comforting soups and stews:
5 Alarm Firehouse Chili
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 1 white onion finely diced
- 2 anaheim peppers finely diced
- 1 pasilla pepper finely diced
- 2 serrano peppers finely diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 lbs grass fed ground beef (or cubed chuck roast)
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 26 oz strained tomatoes
- 26 oz chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 30 oz kidney beans
- 15 oz black beans
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning Foodology Geek Brand
- 1 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Heat oil in a large stew pot or dutch oven.
- Add onions to the pan, add a little salt and carmelize.
- Add ground beef. Brown well. (Note: if you are using chuck roast, salt and pepper meat and brown well then remove and set aside. You will add this back in at the end)
- Add peppers, sauté for 3-5 minutes, until tender and fragrant.
- Add garlic. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Add chili powder and toss to coat.
- Add tomato paste and toss to coat.
- Add tomatoes and bay leaves.
- Add taco seasoning, sugar, and cocoa powder.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce chili to a simmer. Simmer for at least an hour. (Note: if you are using chuck roast you should simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat is very tender.
- Add beans and simmer for another 20 minutes or so.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.
- sour cream
- chopped white onions and/or green onions