The garden tomato harvest is officially over for this year.  There is still one more farmers’ market left this season, which means there is likely only one more opportunity to get excellent fresh tomatoes.  In honor of the last tomatoes of the season and the cooler weather we’ve been experiencing as the days shorten and fall settles in, I thought I would share the chili recipe my SO and I have been working on since we started dating.

This recipe is more of a template, as we have been known to switch up ingredients from time to time (sometimes we swap out the green pepper for a poblano pepper, for example).  The chipotle pepper in adobo was a new addition to our most recent chili iteration, and we liked it so much, we are recording it for posterity.  The seasonings can be adjusted to your taste – we often add a little bit more chili powder, cumin, paprika, and/or salt just before serving if we think it needs a little extra kick.


Yields 8 to 10 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, diced
8 to 9 tomatoes, skins removed, chopped (or 3 cans diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if possible)
2 cans spicy chili beans (like Mrs. Grimes)

2 cups water
2 cups beef stock
1 pound beef stew meat
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional accompaniments

sour cream
cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place stew meat and beef stock in a small roasting pan, cover, and roast in oven for about 40 minutes (to tenderize the beef).
  2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until no pink remains, about 10 to 12 minutes, and drain.  Set aside.
  3. While stew meat is roasting, heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and green pepper and saute until tender, around 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chipotle pepper, water, ground beef, beans, and all of the spices (last eight ingredients) and stir to combine.  When the stew meat is browned and tender, add it and the beef stock it was cooked in to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes (we usually let it go for about an hour).  When the chili is almost done, taste and adjust seasonings as you like.
  5. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and crackers.

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