My Very Own Chili

Guys, for a long time I thought I just didn’t like chili that much. Then I made this one. I became a little obsessed with the chunks of squash and turnip in it. I loved the spice and the depth of flavor. But I still wanted to make it my own, so obviously, I added meat.

This chili is thick and hearty. It’s spicy but not too much. It’s chunky, but in a good way, and today, it won 2nd place in the prestigious Artisan “Super Football Party” chili cook-off! Enjoy.

My Very Own Chili
Very loosely based on The Kitchn’s Pumpkin Chili

4 slices bacon, cooked and set aside, grease reserved
1 pound ground beef, cooked
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup corn meal, finely ground if you have it
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
3 cups broth (chicken, vegetable, etc.)
1 can each (drained): dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Sriracha to taste (I like 3 or 4 good squirts)
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
A few dashes balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Cook the bacon until crispy in the bottom of a large stock pot. Remove the bacon strips (leave the grease), and add the onion, corn meal, and tomato paste, and stir well. Stir in garlic and parsnips, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, broth, beans, corn, bacon (chop it up), and cooked ground beef. Then add in the spices, sriracha, Worcestershire, and balsamic. Bring to a simmer and leave on a low stove for as many hours as you’ve got. I like to start this around noon, and have it for dinner.

Serve with a little sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese. I love the warmth you get from the cinnamon and nutmeg, and the complex heat you get from the various types of pepper powders.

It’s a great winter meal, and it just gets better leftover for lunch in the following days!