Chili is probably the EASIEST thing to make for a few reasons: really simple and easy to find ingredients, everything is done in one pot, it’s a super comfort food and you can make a massive batch that lasts for days.

Most chili recipes call for beans, which are a no-go if you are a Paleo person.  Thing is…most authentic Texas style chili recipes don’t include beans ANYWAY and are just a big old mess of hugely flavored meat and veggies. This is my personal recipe, that’s been adapted from a few that I’ve seen. It has been created for ease (no weird meats or spices you have to search the store for, or anything terribly expensive) and budget friendliness.  It’s one of those things that gets better with time, so if you make it on a Monday, it will still be delicious reheated on Thursday (it’s also GREAT for breakfast topped with a poached egg). *Also, always buy grass fed, organic meats when you can!

Here we go!

You need:

A Dutch Oven or large pot (I highly recommend investing in a nice sized, cast iron dutch oven. They are the best tools to cook chilis, soups, stews, anything braised, and they last FOREVER.)

1.5 lb ground beef
1.5 lb ground pork
2 bell peppers (1 green, 1 red)
2 onions
2-4 cloves of garlic
2 14 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp Chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves

The recipe is seriously only a few steps…

Dice up all the veggies (peppers and onions – medium dice, garlic – mince it tiny).  Heat some olive oil in the pan over med-high heat and throw everything in.  Let the veggies cook for a few minutes until they start to soften a bit, then add in the spices (chili powders, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika) and season with salt and pepper.  Let this go until it is super fragrant and the veggies are relatively tender.

Turn up the heat to high and add in the meat to brown. Beef goes in first – just break it up with a wooden spoon and let it get a bit brown, then add the pork and break that guy up, too.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink and everything is nicely incorporated.

Add one can of the diced tomatoes and use the juices to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping off all the little brown bits of flavor stuck down there. Let it cook out for 2-3 minutes before moving on)

Add the rest of the tomatoes. I do this step in a few sections so I can keep an eye on the consistency.  Since there are no beans in this chili, there is no starch to thicken it up.  If you add all the tomatoes right away, you might wind up with a watery finished product.

Add the whole tomatoes and their juices first. Just crush each one by hand and mix it in. If you need more liquid, start adding the second can of diced tomatoes. Keep it handy in case you need to add liquid as the chili cooks down.  Now throw in two bay leaves and stir everything up. Make sure you give it a taste to see if it needs some salt and pepper.

That’s really it. Just bring the whole thing to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let it do it’s thing for at least 1 1/2 hours.  Take a peek every now and then to see if you need to add more tomatoes or give it a stir, but really you can just go take care of whatever you need to do or just take a load off and have a beer while it all cooks together.  I’ve left it going for as long as 3 hours and it just gets better.

And it was eaten before I took a serving picture…whoops!