New Mexican Chili

New Mexican Chili

Need an easy meal for Super Bowl Sunday or just to warm up a cold winters day?  This one will have your taste buds doing a happy dance with it's flavorful simplicity! Every now and then I come up with an amazingly good recipe for humans only. This is one of those so please DO NOT SHARE WITH YOUR DOGS because of the onions and chiles which are toxic for dogs!  

This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's Taco Soup to which I made just a few changes. In the end result I found it to be more of a thick chili than a soup hence the name New Mexican Chili where the basic ingredients are red or green chiles, beans and corn.

New Mexican cuisine is the regional cuisine of New Mexico. Part of the broader Southwestern cuisine, New Mexico food culture is a fusion of Spanish and Mediterranean, Mexican, Pueblo Native American, and Cowboy Chuckwagon influences.  New Mexican food is similar to but not quite the same as Mexican and Tex-Mex  foods preferred in Texas and Arizona.  New Mexico is the only state with an official question "Red or green?" referring to the choice of red or green chile.  Combining both red and green chile is often referred to as "Christmas."   --- wikipedia

Also, I don't like spicy foods but you can certainly kick it up a notch or two with chili seasoning and spicier peppers.  I added some cayenne pepper which is enough for me and I can offer spicy toppings for those who want more heat. Try it with ground turkey or ground venison for a leaner version. A concern of many is the fact Ranch Dressing Mix has MSG so to avoid that make your own with this recipe. There's also a lot of sodium so consider choosing low sodium varieties when shopping.  

Prep Time: 15 minutes      Cook Time:  2 - 3 hours     Yields:  8 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
  • 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, chopped or sliced
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 12 oz bottle of beer, optional
  • Corn chips or corn bread

Toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Cheese, grated
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Chives, sliced
  • Jalapenos, sliced
  • Hot sauce

Preparation Instructions

1.  Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet or dutch oven. Drain the excess fat and transfer back to the dutch oven or a stockpot.

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2. The next part is super easy - just some open cans! Here's where you can easily make changes. Don't like a particular bean, choose another.  Next time I'll probably swap out the second can of pinto beans for black beans.  Want it a little hotter, use tomatoes with jalapenos.  I did rinse my beans to remove some of the starch and I added some beer to replace the lost liquid and give it a robust flavor.  Don't want to use beer? Consider beef broth, V8 juice or just plain water.

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3. Simmer covered over low heat for a couple of hours. You can also cook this in a large slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours. The aroma will have you taking random taste tests!

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4. When it’s ready place some corn chips for crunch or corn bread in each bowl and ladle the soup over them.

5. Serve with an assortment of toppings to choose from for individual tastes.

This freezes very well and tastes even better the longer the flavors have to meld.