A hearty bowl of chili is always a crowd pleaser when you’re gathered around a toasty fire. Plus, everything is prepared in one pan, which streamlines prep, giving you more time to soak up the fresh air. Added to chili near the end of cooking, masa harina (corn flour) thickens the liquid slightly, giving it body and imparting a subtle corn flavour.
If desired, ground chicken or turkey can be used in lieu of beef, or make it vegetarian by leaving out the meat in favour of extra beans or even crumbled tempeh.
Be sure to place a variety of garnish options on the picnic table. These can include diced avocado, grated cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, chopped chives, cilantro, sour cream, or even tortilla chips for some crunch.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb (450 g) organic grass-fed ground beef (see Tip for alternatives)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) tomato paste, no salt added
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice
1 cup (250 mL) dark beer
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) crushed or strained tomatoes, no salt added
19 oz (540 mL) can kidney beans, preferably salt free, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp (30 mL) masa harina (corn flour) (optional)
In large saucepan or large skillet on camp stove or in sturdy Dutch oven placed on grill grate set over a campfire, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and salt; heat until onion is softened and golden, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add green pepper and garlic to pan; heat for 2 minutes. Place beef in pan and heat until browned, about 4 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and allspice; heat for 30 seconds. Pour in beer, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and masa harina (if using); simmer for 10 minutes. If mixture becomes too thick, you can stir in some additional tomatoes.
Serve with desired garnishes (see “Chili Fixins”).