Chareva’s Kitchen: Chili

      28 Comments on Chareva’s Kitchen: Chili

I’ve been threatening to share some recipes we use at home, so here goes. First installment of Chareva’s Kitchen. (For those of you who don’t know, my wife’s name is Chareva.  Yes, it’s unusual.  Comes from two names in her family, Charlotte and Keva.)

This is a simple recipe for chili. The girls like some beans and more tomato sauce in theirs, but that makes it more carb-dense than I can handle, so this is the one Chareva cooks for me. I like mine on the spicy side, so depending on your taste, you may want to back off the spices a little.

The recipe below makes enough for two BIG bowls of chili, so if you’re feeding an entire family, double or triple the ingredients as necessary.

Ingredients (which we finally wrote down while making a pot of the stuff):

  • 1 1/4 lbs. Hamburger. (Do NOT get the 90% lean. You want the fat in this dish.)
  • 1 small or medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste (3 ounces, in other words)
  • 1/2 can tomatoes or 1 large tomato chopped up. (Some cans of tomatoes include high fructose corn syrup. Don’t go there. Read the label.)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 chopped green pepper (totally optional)

Start browning the hamburger in a pot. Toss in the onions and green peppers when the hamburger is maybe halfway browned, mix them up and continue stirring occasionally until the hamburger is cooked.

Toss in the rest of the ingredients and stir them into the mix. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Depending on how much fat was in the hamburger, you may want to add a few tablespoons of water.

That’s it. Serve. I put a little shredded cheese and sour cream on mine. That makes it perfect.

There are about 25-35 net carbs in the whole pot of chili, depending on how much onion and tomato you add. So figure roughly 15 carbs in a big serving.

Oops, I almost forgot to mention:  I realize liver is health food, but I don’t like the way it tastes.  The first time Chareva made this version of chili for me, she suggested swapping in liver for some of the hamburger.  Good idea.  I got some liver in my diet, and the chili just tasted like chili to me.  I guess the moral of the story is that if your kid (or husband) doesn’t like liver, put it in something that hides the flavor.


28 thoughts on “Chareva’s Kitchen: Chili

  1. Sean

    Liver in chili, that’s a great idea. It’s not that easy to get people to eat liver, but who doesn’t love chili?

    Only people who don’t know how to enjoy life.

  2. nonegiven

    I’m lazy, I use the Carrol Shelby’s Texas Chili Kit, I leave out the salt and the corn flour, throw in 2 cans of diced tomatoes and a can of black soy beans. I use the Hunts natural, pretty much tomato, juice and salt. I use the chili seasoning packet and the cayenne pepper packet. I also use venison if I still have some, and I have lots right after deer season. When I eat it I add a lot of sour cream and sharp cheddar. That venison may be free range but it is awfully lean.

    Can’t say I’d want those black soy beans, but sounds good otherwise.

  3. J. Stanton

    I see no paprika in the ingredient list! Consider adding about 2 tsp paprika and dropping the cumin to 2 tsp.

    And that is a GREAT suggestion on the liver: I’ve got a bunch in the freezer that’s been staring at me for weeks.

    I’ll give that a try. I’m all about experimenting.

  4. Ray - Pure Spontaneity

    Next time she whips up a batch of chili and you get ready to dig in, try squeezing just a little bit of fresh lemon juice on your chili. It is excellent and even my kids like it!

    I’ll give that a shot.

  5. -V

    I tried figuring out the liver thing for a long time. I had tried a bunch of chopped liver preparations using such things like capers, olives, garlic, anchovies and chilies to mask the flavor but the liver kept peaking through. It wasn’t until I mixed it with a little tomato paste that it really tasted like something I’d want to eat.

    Sardines are the same way for me. I love them in tomato sauce, but forget the ones packed in oil or mustard.

  6. Lori

    There’s a Nick Stellino soup recipe that calls for chicken livers. So, yes, some liver can add a pleasant flavor besides a big wallop of nutrients.

    Unfortunately, I’ve had a hard time finding good quality ground beef that’s less than 85% lean. Meat that’s that lean is just too tough for me. I know where to get pasture-raised, Western Slope lamb, which I love when I’m craving a burger, but it’s $7.99 a pound.

    Our plan is to move to a bigger house, then get a big freezer, then start buying a half-cow at a time to keep the price down.

  7. Jan

    Ah, Yankee-style chili. 🙂 No ground beef in my Texas-style chili – I use a chuck roast that I cube. Of course, it takes a little longer to cook. I also put a lot of roasted peppers and chilies in mine, and I’ve never used corn meal or flour to thicken it – if you cook it properly it will reduce and thicken quite nicely on its own.

    I’m afraid I’d be burned as a heretic if I put liver in my chili (soaking liver in milk for several hours before cooking will mitigate that “metallic” taste it tends to have – serving it with tons of bacon and onions always helps, too), but I DO have a venison roast in my freezer that would make some mighty fine chili, and a husband who’s been hinting he’d like some…well, I know what we’re having this weekend!

    Cubed-roast chili. That does sound good.

  8. Dottie

    Yum. Looking forward to more recipes. AND I can’t wait to get the DVD’s of Fathead that I ordered yesterday.

  9. Laurie

    Off topic, T Collin Campbell movie. The vegan and SAD folks diets are Fact-free and low-fact.

    They know not what they are doing. Brainwashed, addicted and domesticated BY grains. There is NO scientific evidence to support any of their decrees. We have been told to eat low-calorie and grains, high fruit, but no animal fat meat and cholesterol and we must eschew too much salt. We have zero dietary requirement for grains, fruits, and plant protein and that’s what we’re told to eat- but we have absolute requirements for salt, CALORIES and animal fat and protein and cholesterol. Oy Vey

    Campbell doesn’t care about facts. Or rather, he’s only interested in cherry-picking facts that support his vegan evangelism.

  10. your older brother

    “Unfortunately, I’ve had a hard time finding good quality ground beef that’s less than 85% lean. ”

    Lori, if you have an honest-to-god butcher shop in the area, buy some beef suet and make your beef as fat as it oughta be.

    Suet is a main ingredient in our recipe for good old-fashioned bar chili; beans are in a separate pot — put a couple of ladles of chili in your bowl and then as many/few beans as you want. I made the last batch with ground venison instead of beef. It didn’t last long!


  11. D

    Yum! Chili, one of our favorite meals. I have been putting a small can of pumpkin in my big pot of chili, adds nutrients and helps thicken it. You cannot taste the pumpkin at all. (I also put canned pumpkin in soups and stews.) And once, when I was short on tomatoes, I grabbed some picante sauce and dumped in the chili. It already has peppers and onions in it. Made a great chili. We just had a pot of chili a couple of days ago, made with ground pork, which I got on sale. It was wonderful.

  12. Erik

    A proper sausage is made with 3 parts meat to one part fat. If you’re having trouble finding ground meat that’s low in fat, you might find an uncooked sausage and remove the casing. You can mix this with ground meat to form any meat / fat ratio you desire. Find someone who makes their own sausage (such as a deli or butcher shop) and you should be able to hit them up for pure fat. If you ask nice, they’ll grind it for you. Consider asking for “chili grind” which is coarser than hamburger.

    I love chili, and it’s often my go-to dish whenever eating out. However, my absolute favorite chili would be Mexican red chile, which is the stuff that Mexican restaurants put into red chile burritos. Cubes of beef braised in red chile sauce until it falls apart on a fork or melts in your mouth.

    For a quick version, you can make a roux of flour and fat, add chili powder, cumin, garlic and other spices (Mexican oregano is more flavorful than Greek oregano), then add liquid (such as broth or water) until it’s gravy-like, then cook a big ol’ hunk of meat in it for a long period of time (more connective tissue is better – chuck works well).

    Or, you can get a bag of dried chiles, remove most of the seeds and stems, boil them for about 20 minutes, remove most of the skins, then puree, or puree and then strain out the skins. Then, make the recipe as above, except instead of chile powder you use chile puree and the liquid you add is the cooking liquid that the chiles were boiled in. You can extend it with tomato sauce if it’s too thin or too spicy for your liking.

  13. mrfreddy

    My wife hates beef, so I might just try makin this with pork instead…

    That sounds good. I may have to give it a try. That way we can declare the results of the experiment are repeatable.

  14. Kimberly Birch

    This looks delish, Tom! I’m sending it over to my husband, who wants to start learning how to make some low carb dishes. I think he can handle this one!

    Keep ’em coming!

    Will do.

  15. mrfreddy

    The pork version was fantastic, we both loved it. I followed Chareva’s recipe using pork instead of beef, plus I added a good amount of diced up andouille sausage for good measure, and let it sit in the crock pot on low for a few hours. Mui bueno! Next time I think I’ll try some cubed pork loin, the fattiest I can find, yum yum…

    I am putting that on my recipe list.

  16. Bob T

    That’s a good recipe. Made it last night (without the liver) and the family gave it a thumbs up. BTW, I like that wok type pan you used. What is that? Thanks.

    I looked for a brand name on it, but there isn’t one. It’s just a big stew pot with a rounded bottom.

  17. Foolishman1776

    I like to use bacon in my chili. I just let it render to get the fat and flavour in there and fish out the (often quite rubbery) meat.

    Sounds good. I like bacon fat on almost everything … except ice cream.

  18. PHK

    i also love chili.

    Lord Hubby does not care for liver or heart. i’m the more carnivorous one. so i also add liver or heart in chili or hamburger, or any ground meat.

    i get the fattest ground meat (cheaper, too).
    if it’s still too lean, i just mix it with lard/coconut oil/butter.


  19. Bob T

    Thanks Chareva. I had some Calaphon a few years ago but never really liked it. I use Circulon for non-stick now. Much better. I may look into a jumbo fryer though, by either co. I just like the looks of Tom’s pan and I know it be very useful.

  20. Maureen

    Hi, just wanted to say, don’t use those nonstick pans too often! Very toxic. Try a Le Crueset instead, or something similar and cheaper. I bought mine at a TJMaxx, good discount. I use it a lot for braising, stews, etc.

  21. Steve P

    Charevea, Made your chili this past weekend with the added liver since I’m not a big liver fan but understand its value as a “superfood”. Very good. I made enough for three separate meals and added raw locally made shredded cheddar cheese. Thanks.

  22. Amy

    I’d love to have a set of Le Crueset pans, but I’m too cheap for such things. Cast iron is where it’s at, in my opinion.

  23. Jen

    I’ve made this twice now (with beef from the farm where I obtain raw milk, and believe me, it was nice and full-fatty!), and it is DELICIOUS. My husband went nuts for it, too. In fact, I daresay this recipe is better than my aunt’s chili, and her chili is pretty darned good. Thanks for sharing!

    And yes, next time, I’ll grind some liver into it…

    I’ll pass that on to the chef.

  24. Becky

    Can you spell your wife’s name phoenetically? Can I spell phoenetically?


    It’s pronounced Sha-REE-va.

  25. Becky

    Thanks 🙂 Now it won’t trip me up as much when I read through a post and come across that name. Also, thanks for the recipe, please keep them coming. Us Paleos with ADD have a hard time repeating recipes very often as our attention spans aren’t very go–oh look! A butterfly!

  26. Kristin

    Chareva’s recipe is pretty much the same as mine, simple and tasty. I used to use a lot of beans as well as I really like beans but no longer do as it pushes up the carbs too much. I make my own chili powder using some nice hot NM ground chile and smoked paprika (yep, an expat NewMexican.) I’ll also do stew beef instead or recently some elk chuck steak.

    I chuckled at the addition of the liver. I do the same with meat loaf and I’m not above having some thin rye crackers with good liverwurst or chicken liver pate. I also balk at the taste of liver so try to find ways to get it into my diet.


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