Whether you’re huddled outside a stadium in the cold waiting for substitute referees to make terrible calls, or trying to get a jump on the week’s cooking by making meals days and days ahead of time, a good recipe for a hot bowl of chili is one of the best things to have in your arsenal. Here are our favorite chili recipes, for when the temperature drops, but before we’ve ordered a tank of heating oil and are therefore forced to keep warm by spending our nights huddled in front of a space heater, drinking bourbon and watching travel shows about tropical vacation destinations:
Chile Verde (Green Chili with Pork)
This classic, versatile Mexican stew features big chunks of pork shoulder, slow-cooked in a tomatillo and pepper puree until the meat shreds apart into tender forkfuls.
Smoky Lamb and Chorizo Chili
This recipe brings all the filling heat you want, and brings in some slightly gamey, pleasantly funky flavors from the lamb. The toppings in this chili are the key to brightening up the smokey, rich flavor of the lamb, so don’t skimp on the sour cream, cheddar, and chopped green onions.
Beef Short Rib Chili with Beans
A truly great chili starts with a flavorful cut of beef, whole spices, and as many different varieties of dried whole chiles as you can get your hands on. This recipe is a good starting place, but it’s not perfect yet. It’s up to you to put your stamp on it.
White Bean Chicken Chili
A close friend, after eating a bowl of this chili, once remarked that it was not just an interesting twist on a traditional chili recipe, but that it was, in fact, the best thing she had ever eaten. The trick is the dramatic reduction of the stock, which creates this chili’s “sauce.”
Turkey Chili with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Chicken chili is well and good, but is there a place for the other poultry in the realm of kettle cooking? We think so.
Frijoles Charros (Cowboy Beans)
This may not seem like a chili recipe per se, but the sheer amount of other stuff that goes into this simmering pot of Mexican beans makes it a worthy addition to this list.