As soon as the cold weather hits I break out the chili pot and go to my favorite recipe, Rachael Ray’s Uptown Down-Home Chili. Back in college I had picked up Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats–A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook). For the most part I barely used the cookbook at the time. I thought I would cook and let’s just say that never really happened until after college.
One weekend I was heading back to visit my parents when my Grandpa was sick and decided to make up some Uptown Down-Home Chili to take with me. I had never made this recipe before but wound up making two more pots of it before the weekend was over.
Now whenever chili is needed this has become my go to recipe. It is delicious, spicy (as spicy as you would like it to be) yet filled with lots of flavor.
If you are a fan of chili loaded with vegetables, this one is the perfect recipe to try. Between celery and chopped up peppers there is a lot of opportunity to expand the vegetables used in it. I am not a huge mushroom fan but I always cook them separately so my husband can put them in his bowl.
Don’t worry, this chili does add in two pounds of ground sirloin so meat lovers can enjoy a good bowl of chili too. We’ve tried it with turkey, but it just isn’t the same. It is one of the few recipes we stick to the meat called for.
Over the years I’ve adapted the recipe to the exact taste that we love. I tend to add a little more of the cumin and grill seasoning to it to add an extra kick. Some days, I’ve made it a little too spicy! I’ve also experimented with adding fresh jalapenos to it. They weren’t my favorite but added even more of a kick to the chili.
The best part about this recipe is once you pick up all of the ingredients you usually have enough of most ingredients to make a couple of batches. A lot of the times I’ll double the recipe and freeze half of it so we have it for another day.
By far my favorite ingredient that leaves people going “what?” is the single bottle of Stella Artois. Don’t worry, you cook the alcohol out. Even if you are not a fan of beer (I am not at all) the beer adds such a unique taste to the chili that it makes it stand out from other recipes.
Through multiple chili cook-offs over the years I’ve discovered that everyone has their own unique taste when it comes to chili. Rachel Ray’s Uptown Down-Home Chili is definitely unique and out there when it comes to traditional chili but it is by far my favorite winter recipe.
Do you prefer vegetable heavy chili or meat heavy chili?
What is your favorite chili recipe?