I love Super Bowl parties. I’m not going to lie, I rarely know which teams are going to play in the game or care much who wins. (I usually decide who to cheer for the day of.) But I love the Super Bowl because it is yet another excuse to make food for a group of hungry friends. And by food, I mean chili.
I have a particular fondness for the hearty stew. As a kid growing up in Vermont we would spend most winter weekends on the ski slopes. And if you’ve ever been to Vermont in February you know that we’re talking a -30 degree wind chill factor and extremely icy slopes. In my early 20s I went skiing in France, my first time outside of Vermont, and realized that it could actually be a pleasurable experience. But the one thing that made my numb digits and nearly frost-bitten cheeks feel better was a steaming bowl of that delicious ski-area chili, topped with a handful of grated Vermont cheddar cheese. And as I sat in the Vermont mountain top lodge savoring every spoonful as I gradually got feeling back in my fingers and toes, the chili somehow made the frigid weather and dreadful conditions all okay.
I write this now in Los Angeles with our windows and doors open on a sunny mild February day. But the pot of chili on the stove is just as delicious and comforting as on those cold winter days on the slopes. It is the ideal Super Bowl party dish. One big pot of chili can feed the entire crowd. So make it in advance and relax when your guests arrive!
Beef and Vegetable Chili
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 small onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 4 large carrots, chopped
- 2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound 90 percent lean organic ground beef
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 cup low-fat sour cream, for serving
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated for topping
- 1 cup scallions, sliced for serving
In a large (4- quart) pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, carrots, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables over medium-low heat until they are tender. Add the beef and break it up with a spoon. When the beef has been completely broken up and has cooked until brown, stir in the beef broth and beans. Then add the crushed and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Ladle chili in to serving bowls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, scallions and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with a side of cornbread if desired.