Freezer Meals: Loaded Chili

This is a recipe I frequently double, because having an entire week’s worth of this hearty meal waiting in the freezer is one of the most profound joys in my life.

I recommend using a 5-quart dutch oven, if you have one (I have two, because I’m a lunatic). If you don’t have one, I am a big fan of Fontignac, which retails around $99, and Lodge, which retails around $65.

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Too full to stir.

Yield: about 10 servings

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2–3 hot peppers of your choice, minced
  • 6–8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2½–3 lbs. ground meat (I use 50/50 sirloin/pork butt)
  • Spice blend: 1 Tbsp. cumin, ½ Tbsp. cayenne, ½ Tbsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 sweet peppers (1 each red, orange, yellow)
  • 15-oz. can each: whole kernel corn, small red beans, small white beans, black beans, rinsed thoroughly together
  • 28-oz .can each: crushed tomatoes, tomato purée
  • ¼ tsp. cocoa powder

Sweat the onion in enough corn oil to cover the bottom of the pot. After 5–8 minutes, when the onions are starting to turn translucent, add the hot pepper and garlic, then sweat another 5. Add the meat and the spice blend, browning together. Stir in the sweet peppers, then stir in the corn and beans. Add the canned tomatoes, plus a little water rinsed from each can. Stir the cocoa powder. Turn the heat way down and let simmer, partially covered, 1½–2 hours.

Portion out leftovers into freezer bags and freeze flat on baking trays. (More on flat freezing here.)

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Freezing flat!
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