Need a chili recipe to impress my office
April 9, 2016 2:52 PM   Subscribe

I am suppose to bring chili to office lunch for approximately 10 people one day next week, I want it to be awesome of course. We have a microwave but I also have a crock pot I could take and plug up. The request I have heard so far is to make it extra meaty and spicy. Any recipes that can be shared would be awesome and much appreciated.
posted by just asking to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Look... dont judge me.... but carrol shelbys chilli mix with the full cayenne packet and about half the massa and about 1/4 - 1/2 the salt pack. 50/50 pork and beef.... thats my go to chilli. It's great. Not the best ever but really great.

i always double it with 2 kits at least

For the beef we prefer chunks. Left over steak or pot roast etc. For the pork ground, or diced pork chops or whatever.

I usually deglaze with beer.

I usually add more water and then cook down with the massa.

Make it in a pot not the slow cooker. Put it in fridge over night. Day of just take it in in slow cooker and plug it in on low in am to reheat. About an hour before serviging judge if you need to add some boili g water from the hot tea tap to loosen it or take the lid off to thicken.

Sometimes i add some salsa to add veggies and more liquid

Beans are optional i hate then.

Oyster crackers are not optional, they are required.
posted by chasles at 3:08 PM on April 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

make this pork chili. everyone will love you.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 3:24 PM on April 9, 2016

This low carb chili is my favorite regardless of whether or not I'm actually doing low carb.
posted by notquitemaryann at 3:40 PM on April 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

I suggest using a mixture of beef and lamb. Lamb is just so good.
posted by meese at 3:42 PM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's a good one, meaty and spicy. Excellent with cornbread or crackers. I'd make it the day before then put it in the crockpot at work to heat up all morning. So you'd need to start it 3 days ahead for the 1st step. I've added red peppers and beans to this recipe, it's good with them or without.

Texas Beef Chili

2 # beef chuck, cubed
8 T olive oil, divided
5 T chili powder, divided
1 # chorizo or hot Italian sausage, sliced
3 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried oregano
2 t ground cumin
2 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
2-2# cans chopped tomatoes
2-12 oz. bottles beer
6 oz can tomato paste

Toss meat with 3 T oil and 2 T chili powder. Chill overnight. In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 T oil, brown beef in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Set beef aside and brown the sausage and set aside with the reserved beef. Add oil if necessary, and cook onions 10 minutes or until well caramelized. Add garlic and spices, stir 3 minutes and add onion mixture to the beef and sausage. Add tomato paste to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, then deglaze with the beer and add the 2 cans of tomatoes and meats & onions back to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Uncover during the last hour of cooking.

If it looks like it's drying out in the final hour uncovered, I add beef or chicken broth and stir well.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 3:45 PM on April 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

if you are the only one bringing chili, absolutely do one of the many amazing standard recipes you'll get in this thread. if you are bringing one of many chilis, mix it up a little with a white chicken chili (use half breasts, half thighs - sub spicier [roasted if you wanna be fancy] peppers).
posted by nadawi at 3:55 PM on April 9, 2016

If you're willing to put in the work, you will never beat this recipe for a crowd-pleasing, ridiculously amazing chili:

1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tip
1 1/2 pounds pork loin
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 pound spicy pork sausage
2 or 3 medium onions, diced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 large can of diced tomatoes
Approximately 20 ounces of Guinness stout (draught cans/bottles are fine). It's important that you use Guinness, seriously. Some light lager or hoppy ale will not give it the flavor profile it's worthy of. If you can't find Guinness for whatever reason, a smooth Amber Ale will suffice. But try to use Guiness.
4 or 5 cloves minced garlic
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 can diced green chiles
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
4 or 5 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons pepper
2 tablespoons chives (fresh if possible), minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon salt
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil

Fry bacon until brown. Drain and place in slow cooker. If you're feeling daring, dump a bit of bacon grease in. You only live once.
Saute onions in bacon grease and add to slow cooker.
Cut steak and pork loin into little bitty pieces...dice them. Brown in skillet, along with the ground chuck. Drain all the fat, then add to slow cooker.
Add everything else to slow cooker. Remember, fresh is best whenever possible!
Put slow cooker on LOW setting and cook for about 8 hours. After cooking this long, all the meat should be super soft and tender. After 6 hours, taste the chili and add pinches of this or dashes of that to suit your own preference and taste. Don't reseason until 6 hours in, to allow the flavor profile to fully flesh itself out.
posted by ronofthedead at 3:55 PM on April 9, 2016 [14 favorites]

Chowhounds Crockpot Chili
Make it a couple of days in advance, reheat it at work and it tastes even better!
posted by Snazzy67 at 3:56 PM on April 9, 2016

What you want is my mom's Never Fail Chili recipe. Cubed--not ground--beef with a sauce that's noting but broth and spice. It comes out gloriously thick and with a deep spicyness that isn't burn-your-mouth-off hot but incredibly flavorful.
posted by capricorn at 4:02 PM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I've made it in a Crockpot before, so it definitely works that way. Brown the meat and spices on the stove and then just transfer to the Crockpot before adding the broth. Since it's better reheated anyway, taking the Crockpot to the office should be a perfect plan.
posted by capricorn at 4:04 PM on April 9, 2016

This chili is always better on the second day. Make it on day 1, then reheat in a crockpot on day 2 for your event:

- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 15oz can peeled whole tomatoes, including liquid
- 2 15 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 can (6-8oz?) Ro-tel--diced tomatoes mixed with jalapeno peppers

For everything below here, add to taste. (I use amounts in descending order, so the biggest amount is the Mexican chili powder, and the smallest amount is smoked paprika.) Sorry, I don't work from a recipe so these are not exact amounts.
- Mexican chili powder
- chipotle chili powder
- cumin
- oregano
- cinnamon
- cocoa powder
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- smoked paprika

Cook ground beef in a large stock pot (no oil or liquid needed) on medium heat. Add onions when beef is about halfway browned. Add some of all the spices, stirring and combining. Continue cooking ground beef until nearly done and you smell the aromas all mixed together, about 5-10 minutes.

First, add the peeled whole tomatoes (with liquid). Use a spatula to roughly break apart each whole tomato into 2-4 pieces. Then add the rest of the canned tomatoes (all drained). Add more of the spices to taste. (That means taste what's in the pot!) Cook, stirring and combining for about 10 more minutes.

You are about to leave the chili alone for 30-40 minutes. Are the spices to your liking? If not, now is the time to adjust.

Cover pot and let simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes.

You're done! I serve with some combo of the following:
- fresh cilantro
- sliced avocado
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- plantain chips
- corn bread
- baked sweet potatoes
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 4:18 PM on April 9, 2016

The only thing I'm going to add to the points and recipes above is that finely chopped root ginger makes a really big difference. I've a feeling it's completely inauthentic, but I don't care; it adds a hot sweetness that both complements and balances the deep savoury and chilli flavours.
posted by howfar at 4:20 PM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

From the NYT, Lamb and White Bean Chili. It's amazingly great, easy, and different enough to really stand out. I tinker around the edges of the recipe, but the only thing I consistently add is a reconstituted, blended ancho chili or two (or other dried chili). Optional, perhaps especially for the first time with this recipe, but it adds an extra depth of flavor and not much extra heat, depending on the chili. Oh, and I usually replace at least some of the water with canned chicken stock.

The first 2 steps would best be done on a stove top and then transferred to a crock pot (at the very least the browning of the meat step). Then I'd simmer in the slow cooker for a few hours. You'd probably need to at least double the recipe for 10.
posted by ClingClang at 5:30 PM on April 9, 2016

Homesick Texan's chili recipe makes excellent Tex-Mex chili. Careful with the cloves, and if you're feeling lazy you can use fewer varieties of chiles or substitute powders. My own addition is to use half ground beef, half chuck cut into 1/2" cubes. I like the two textures.
posted by Nelson at 5:32 PM on April 9, 2016

whatever recipe you use, if it's tomato-based, i always add a bit (about a small spoonful) of sugar to cut the acidity a bit. i also like to use a touch of cocoa for a bit of richness. the first time i did this, my boyfriend at the time joked "woman, it's a pot of chili, not a cup of hot chocolate" but then he ate it and never commented on what i did in the kitchen again.

if your chili is too thin, you can cheat a little bit and crush up tortilla chips and put them in it. they'll basically dissolve after some cooking and you'll be left with thicker chili.
posted by kerning at 9:34 PM on April 9, 2016

Don't take my word for it, take the word of my friend/customer who said my chili was better than his father's chili. That's right, better than his platonic understanding of chili as created by his first encounter with the holy beast.

No minced meat. Get a hunk of pork shoulder (or boat, if you can source it)and a hunk of beef chuck and cube all of it, about have inch chunks. Too big, and it's ungainly. Too small, and you'll be cutting meat for the rest of your life. About a two pounds each. Season the meat with cumin, garlic, ancho chili, oregano, salt, pepper and set aside.

Chop about three onions, finely mince two stalks of celery, three canned chipotles about eight cloves of garlic. Place the onions in a bowl, and douse with a quarter cup of flour. Cover with a plate, and shake to distribute the flour evenly over the onions. Get a fine dusting over the meat, too. Heat bacon fat (what, you don't keep it in your fridge?!) in a deep, thick bottomed pot, then seat meat in batches. When browned, remove to a strainer set in a bowl. Repeat for awhile.

When all of the meat is browned, take the strained fats and meat juices, and return it to the pot. Sauté the onions, garlic, celery, and chili in the fat till soft, then add a large can of a decent stout or Porter. Simmer for a bit, return meat to the pot, simmer a bit more. Add cans of whole tomato until the meat is largely submerged (let's say three cans). Break up the tomatoes. Add cumin, salt, white pepper, cayenne, ancho, and oregano as needed. Serve with Fritos, shredded cheese, sour cream, what have you.

As for beans, no. If people demand beans, shake your head like a prophet disappointed in their followers, for yours is the glory, and they want beans, which are the opposite of glory.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:39 PM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Cooks illustrated Texas style chili. Cooks illustrated is famous for their fastidious, obsessive recipe testing. This recipe, like many of theirs, is a bit fussy but the payoff is outstanding, and the method reliable.

Starting with the whole dried chilis instead of chili powder adds robust richness, and using beef chunks instead of ground beef results in a much more interesting texture. Using cornmeal as a thickener is clever. The only tweak I make is to add a tablespoon of instant espresso with the cocoa powder, or a few tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee to the beer, to increase the balance with a bit more bitterness. Serve with corn bread.

The original is behind a paywall, but this is a pretty close adaptation:
posted by chefscotticus at 7:27 AM on April 10, 2016

This is my go to. It uses a ton of chili powder so it looks very nice and red:
posted by ellebeejay at 9:35 AM on April 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Pioneer Woman has a Bloody Mary Chili recipe that is so good, it has become our house chili.

Like all chili, it's even better after sitting in the fridge overnight.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:54 PM on April 10, 2016

If you're willing to put in the work (this is a seriously involved recipe), and to buy the 15 weird ingredients that you probably don't have lying around, Food Lab's take on chili is goddamn magic. It's an umami bomb like nothing you've ever had, so it pushes some buttons that most chili does not.
posted by Mayor West at 6:42 AM on April 11, 2016

That Food Lab article is fun and a bit silly. But the note on umami reminds me of One Weird Trick that makes for better chili; a bit of MSG. Use Goya Sazón if you're feeling guilty about non-traditional ingredients; that's what your abuelita would use. But really any MSG helps reinforce the beefy flavor of chili.
posted by Nelson at 7:40 AM on April 11, 2016

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