Not surprisingly, 95% of the TV I watch is Food Network with a solid portion of that time allocated to Guy Fieri’s Triple D. I’ve learned lots of thing from Guy over the last 7 years like that which is poutine; my dream of making my own cured meats isn’t going to happen; and chili is simply the socially acceptable way to eat a bowl of meat, no questions asked. Although I was duped my whole life into thinking beans were a chili requirement, apparently the only parts of the country whose chili opinions should count would never muck it up with beans.
Being tricked into thinking beans were a non-optional part of the chili package, I wrote it off early on and stood by my hatred for chili in all shapes and forms. I looked on as my brothers devoured chili cheese fries, my friends ate chiliburgers and people went bonkers for something I just couldn’t understand. How could one never come in contact with all-meat chili you ask? Well, I was young and naive and all chili just seemed like the perfect dark and mysterious place to hide beans, even if I couldn’t see them.
But then, at the tender age of 25, Mr. Fieri showed me the light. While watching what was probably my thousandth episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives it all clicked. My inner “Ah-ha!” moment was accompanied by an outward “Wait! So, in some places chili is literally an excuse to eat a bowl of meat?” sent my boyfriend’s way. He confirmed my suspicion and I pretty much immediately went to work on a recipe that I have now made countless times. While I do encourage flexibility in the way of pick your meat, pick your veggies and pick your tomatoes since anything close to what’s on the ingredient list will make a bomb bowl I beg you, please, just don’t add any beans
Lean ALL Meat Chili
- 3 lbs ground turkey
- 1 tblsp butter or olive oil
- 3 onions, any type, diced
- 2-3 jalapeños, seeds removed, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 15 oz—24 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 tblsp tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 6 tblsp chili powder
- 1 heaping tblsp cumin
- 1 heaping tblsp oregano
- 1/2 tblsp paprika
- 1/2-1 tsp cayenne
- 4-6 tsp salt (it’s a big pot!)
Add turkey to a skillet, season with 2 teaspoons salt and cook until browned. Transfer to your chili pot or, even better, your pressure cooker.
Add butter or olive oil to the skillet then add your onions. Cook for 5 minutes, add jalapenos and continue cooking until veggies start to caramelize. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Scrape veggies into the chili pot.
If you’re like me and the only chunky things you’ll allow in your chili are of the meat kind, puree the fire-roasted tomatoes. Add all remaining ingredients, including a couple more teaspoons of salt, and give it a good stir.
Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes or simmer for at least 1 hour then give it another good stir. Check if it needs more salt, it does, add at least 1 more teaspoon.
Serve with green onions, regular onions, cheese and whatever else you’d like.
I believe chili, like soup and salsa, gets better with a days rest so this is the perfect make-ahead meal. Freeze leftovers in individual portions in Ziplocs then just pop them out of the freezer, unziplock the bag and drop the chili in a microwave-safe bowl to heat for 3-4 minutes or so until hot. If you are having trouble getting the chili out of the Ziploc, run it under warm water until it comes loose.