My favorite pre-Paleo chili recipe was a Sweet Potato/Black Bean version that I loved and heated up really well for leftovers.
I keep turning over possible recipes in my mind, adding ground beef and maybe mushrooms to replace the beans. I've googled and have some other variations in mind, but I love new recipes and ideas and I trust y'all more than other random websites. :)
Hit me with your best Paleo chili recipe, please!
I compete in chili cookoffs for the International Chili Society. Competition chili does not have beans (REAL chili should NOT have beans). All the world champion chili recipes get published on their website. There are champion red and green (verde) chili recipes to search:
I think all the recipes are close to paleo by default. In fact, my recipe happened to be paleo before I knew what paleo was.
My chili is pretty paleo, so long as you're OK with tomatoes. And no beans - they're just not needed.
Get a big dutch oven going on med-high heat. Throw in a slab of butter or bacon grease. Rough chop a sweet onion and put it in, let it cook down a bit and caramelize a little. Add 1-2lbs of ground beef (grass fed, of course). Let it brown and break it up into small chunks. Be sure to scrape up any browning bits and mix it in.
Prepare the following spices: About a tablespoon each of: oregano, thyme, dry mustard, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, paprika, cumin. Add more cinnamon and paprika if you like. About two tablespoons of: chili powder. Or more. About 4 tablespoons of: cocoa powder (not dutch processed). Or more.
Dump the above all in, mix it up, reduce heat to low.
Add two cans of tomatoes: 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes. I prefer Muir Glen fire roasted organic tomatoes.
Simmer for as long as you can stand it.
Here's a picture of the spices & some tomatoes of a batch I made over the holidays for my inlaws:
Wish I would've taken a picture of the finished product but it was gone too quickly :)
(edited: forgot the cumin)
I have won 2 chili cookoffs with the following no-bean chili:
This is from my low carb days - pre paleo.
In a big pot, put enough oil to cover the bottom. I'd use coconut oil and/or butter (back then it was canola or olive). Put to low/med and add 2 chopped onions and 3 pressed garlic cloves. Stir to prevent the garlic from burning. When the onions start to get transparent add the meat - I typically used 3-5 pounds of a mix of ground beef/pork (and sometimes turkey). Once the meat is browned, add a 15 oz can of tomato sauce and the spices. I used Sen. Goldwaters Chili Spice Mix, which is mostly chili powder and cumin. Also I add about 1/2 jar of Old El Paso pickled jalapenos after running them through the food processor. Simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours, add salt, pepper and hot sauce (like Tobasco) to taste.
Obviously a lot of canned and bottled stuff that you would probably want to substitute out. I've also used roasted jalapenos, serranos and they work great. I never make this the same twice!
Other optional ingredients: beer, chocolate, cinnamon. Warning - it is very spicy!
You could add chopped carrots or zucchini. Sweet potato might be good with the cinnamon idea. (I have in the past added a teaspoon or two of sugar or the equivalent amount of an artificial sweetener - but it doesn't really need it.)
If you LIKE the beans (I know I always did) then use diced chuck (in roughly bean-sized pieces) rather than ground. The texture is surprisingly bean-like, and if you're not thinking about it, you won't notice the difference. Tastes like childhood, without the gas or IB :)
I discovered this by accident. I was purposely looking for a recipe that used diced meat because I generally have a mental block about ground meat.
Mark Sisson has a recipe, though I've never tried it.
It's similar to the chili con carne recipe I've used from Cook's Illustrated for years, which is unfortunately behind a pay wall on their website now. As Carl_Stawicki points out, proper chili shouldn't have beans (they're a filler used to bring down the per-serving cost, just like noodles or rice in chicken soup) and is already a great paleo recipe.
In the end, chili con carne is a subset of beef stew, which replaces the vegetables with tomatoes and chiles.
This is off the top of my head...I made it the other day and it was exceptional.
Sauté in coconut oil one chopped yellow onion, one chopped green bell pepper, and a half of so chopped yellow bell pepper. Once they start to soften, add in two finely chopped serrano or jalapeño peppers, five minced cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon of cumin and of chili powder, plus hefty pinch of cinnamon. Once everything is good and fragrant (after, say, two or three minutes of cooking), remove from pot and set aside.
Brown a pound of ground beef and a pound of lamb in the leftover veggie grease. (You could of course use just ground beef, and if you can grind up liver, throw some of that in too, to be about 1/3 of the meat content). Return the veggies to the pan and add two cans of original Rotel and one 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes that have been pureed in the blender. Let it simmer til the flavors meld, and add salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Melissa over at "The Clothes Make The Girl" has an AWESOME chili recipe. We've made it several times.
It's pretty simple. We like to let it simmer for several hours. It calls for one beer, but if you're strict Melissa recommends substituting with one cup of water. We have done both, and the water doesn't take away from the taste.
I really like the bison chili out of the Primal Blueprint cookbook. Here's the gist:
Cook a few slices of chopped bacon a few minutes until slightly brown and some of the fat is rendered out. Add a chopped onion. When they get semi-translucent, add about 4 cloves of chopped garlic. After a few more minutes add 2 lbs of ground bison and cook through until brown. Add a couple tablespoons of chili powder and a teaspoon of oregano and paprika, 1 1/2-2cups of water or beef broth and 3-4 finely chopped tomatoes (or a 14.5oz can). Cover and simmer an hour stirring occasionally. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and apple cider vinegar and cook for another 20 min or until it's thick enough for you.
We like to add carrots and some hot sauce but you could add anything that sounds good really. We also like to serve it over cauliflower rice...
Edit: Oh yeah, you can also use ground beef, but you might have to scoop out some of the excess fat. It makes it too greasy if you don't.
Ians Paleo chili 1 Green bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 1 jalapeno pepper 2 large white onions 1 head of garlic 3 carrots 2 pounds organic grass fed ground chuck(80/20 meat to fat ratio) 1 pound free range ground pork 1 table spoon lard 1 tablespoon bacon grease 2 quart jars of last years canned tomatoes 2 cans diced fire roasted tomatoes 1 ½ table spoons ancho chili powder 4 tablespoons Chili powder 1 tablespoon oregano 1 tablespoon paprika salt and pepper to taste
Separate and chop cloves of garlic, chop onions, bell peppers(I removed the seeds but you can leave them in if you want more kick) and jalapeno pepper. Heat lard and bacon grease in a Dutch oven until hot, add onions, garlic and peppers. Sauté until onions are translucent, be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove vegetables from pan and reserve for later. Add ground beef and pork to the pan and brown over medium heat. Do not drain the meat( that’s where the flavor and fat is) I like to have my meat all broken down and not in large chunks but it’s a personal preference. While the meat browns open the cans of fire roasted tomatoes, do not drain them. I used our vitamix to puree the jars of tomatoes and threw in the carrots just to get them into the chili without having to deal with sautéing them. After the meat has browned add the vegetables back into the pot along with both cans of tomatoes and the pureed tomatoes. Mix to combine. Add the spices and mix well. Turn down the heat and simmer for at least two hours to allow everything to meld together. Now you just have to wait. That’s the hard part. My wife who is not paleo ate it and agreed this was the best chili I have ever made, even though she loves beans in her chili. I will admit that chili isn’t the same without some sour cream and cheese on it. And although it is verboten I do add them occasionally.
Want a different take on the standard chili?
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