All-American Beef Chili

This can be served right away (and it’s yummy), but it really improves after resting overnight. (Who doesn’t?)

Yield: about 12 cups.

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 Spanish onions, halved and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
¼ cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2½ pounds ground beef or ground turkey
3 to 4 chiles in adobo, chopped
2 16-ounce cans dark red kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
2 limes, cut into wedges

Diced fresh tomatoes
Diced avocado
Sliced scallions
Chopped red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Sour cream
Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Chopped jalapeño chiles

1. Place a large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add half the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until it is just beginning to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the chipotles, 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce (or more to taste), and the remaining beef. Cook again until the beef browns. Add the beans, tomatoes, and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

3. Remove the cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened, about 1 hour longer. If the chili gets too thick, add ½ cup water.

4. Serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges and other garnishes, if desired, or cover and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)