The temperatures this Fall have been waffling between the familiar Summer 70’s (sometimes 80, like 2 weekends ago) and the anticipated 60’s.
While mother nature is transitioning, I note and appreciate the true Fall days as they come along; it doesn’t break 70, the sun is shining, and the air is crisp — it makes going out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf that has fallen much more satisfying.
Along with the cooler weather comes the foods that warm you up inside and fill you up right.
We had beautiful Fall days this past weekend, so I decided to make a warm and hearty dish that suited the weather: spicy beef chili.
I have only made chili a couple of times before and it was usually in a crock pot; which, is still a great go-to (especially on a work day), but since it was the weekend and I had the time, I thought I would experiment and make it on the stove.
I did some research on different chili recipes and compiled my recipe by picking out the ingredients/techniques I knew I wanted to use.
One of the things I came across that I found irresistible was using an ancho chili paste to warm the dish, in terms of spiciness, and add a little thickness to the texture. I tweaked it just a touch to make it my own, but this is definitely something I will continue to use!
Once all the chopping and ancho paste is good to go, it’s a matter of adding everything into one big pot at different stages. Slowly, but surely, creating a deliciously warming chili.
This chili is awesome!
I added a big squeeze of sriracha hot sauce at the end (this is the culinary influence Mirza has had on my cooking) to add one more layer of spice and it tied in perfectly. The chili definitely has a kick to it! (It’s a good kick though, it’s not ah-so-uncomfortable-I-can’t-have-another-bite-spicy, but more that level of I-want-to-keep-eating-because-it’s-just-enough-spicy).
I topped the chili with some cooling ingredients: sour cream, avocado and cilantro, but cheese and onion are other good toppers. Just top yours with your favorite things!
Since this made a good amount of chili, we ended up bringing some to the tailgates of the Steelers/Jets football game this past Sunday.
Chili enjoyed with a bit of cornbread and a beer, a good game of football to follow, all on a 65 and sunny day — it definitely felt like the perfect Fall day!
Warm up your Fall with this amazing chili : )