Chili, I declare, is a food that transcends all seasons. Well, most chili. The heavy-on-the-meat, soupy variety should stick to winter. But this light, chunky, smoky-spicy variety spiked with fresh corn definitely says summer to me. It’s a great meal if you have some leftover meat to use from that BBQ last night, and even better if you’ve got some spare veggies and corn to toss in. Plus, it’s incredibly easy.
You’ll need some beans (I like kidney and black), some canned tomatoes, one sweet onion, fresh corn, taco seasoning and some pureed chipotle chilies (see tutorial here). You’ll also need some sort of ground meat; beef, chicken or turkey would suffice. My ground beef was feeling camera shy.
Peel and dice the onion. Cry if you must.
Brown the ground beef in the same pot that you’ll be making the chili in. I like a large dutch oven, but any large pot would do. Add the onion halfway through browning and toss in the taco seasoning. Keep cooking on medium-high until the meat is fully browned and the onion becomes tender.
Toss in the rest of your ingredients—the canned tomatoes, beans, pureed chipotle and corn (cut from cobs)—and add 1 cup of water. Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 2 hours. It will give all of the flavors a chance to come together nicely.
And when the time’s up? You’ve got chili, my friends. A slightly sweet, deeply smoky, chunky chili that is fabulous for dipping.
I had no intention of eating this bowl of chili when I was staging it to photograph. But then one bite turned into many, and before I could take stock of what was happening, it was gone. Long gone into my happy, happy belly.
Chunky Chipotle Chili
This chili stores and freezes well, making it perfect for double batches. Be careful when handling the chipotle puree and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards! Serves 6-8.
- 1 lb ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 20 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pureed chipotle peppers (see tutorial here)
- 1 cup water
Brown meat over medium-high heat in a large pot. Halfway through browning, add taco seasoning and onion. Continue browning until meat is fully cooked and onion becomes tender. Stir in the diced tomatoes, corn kernels, beans, chipotle and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips if desired.