It’s chili season! And boy does that make millions of people around the world happy. After a long day of work, there’s nothing quite like coming home to piping hot bowl of quality comfort food. Sundays are also great chili days. During this season of family and football, a hearty chili is the perfect compliment to a brisk day spent indoors.
Chili historians say the earliest forms of chili were simply made with meat, vegetables and spices, giving chili a pure paleo heritage. The earliest recipes were served by the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayan Indians long before Columbus came to America. The recipe most likely sprung out of necessity, because the spices helped preserve meat and hid the flavor of beef or venison on the verge of spoiling.
Many aficionados argue that real chili is simply meat, vegetables and spices. Beans didn’t enter the chili pot until the early 1900s, most likely to stretch the meal for those with limited access to meat. With or without beans is a great debate, and of course opinions are fiery as many of the hottest chili recipes! For those following a paleo diet, there’s little to argue over. Legumes are not a part of a paleo lifestyle, and therefore are not included in the crockpot.
Chili cook offs are big business, especially in the Southwest part of the United States. In 1999, the Chili Appreciation Society specified that cooks are forbidden to include beans in the preparation of chili for official competition—nor are they allowed to marinate any meats. So it really is all about the meat, spice and mode of preparation, much like many other paleo staples.
It’s not hard to combine quality meat and spices along with your favorite vegetables to create a paleo-friendly chili the whole family will love. Get creative! For the adventurous chili cook, the only limit is imagination. For the recipe follower, there are tons of great paleo chili recipes on the internet, easily accessed by a Google search.
At Steve’s PaleoGoods, we are all about preparedness. While that includes stocking your pantry with clean options to eat while on the go, it also means taking a few days each month to food prep for when time is tight. This is why Steve LOVES chili. Once a season, he mass cooks a 9-pound batch at home to store in freezer bags and enjoy throughout the season.
The recipe below is the official chili of our Steve’s PaleoGoods family. Making a batch is like giving yourself a season-long gift. One afternoon of chili prep will yield over 30 bowls of paleo love. Take a freezer bag out in the morning and for dinner reheat and enjoy!
Steve’s PaleoPlate Chili
5lbs ground beef
1 cup carrots diced small
1.5 cup onion diced small
2 ounces minced garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
18 ounces tomato paste
5 tablespoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup spanish paprika
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons onion powder
4 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili flakes
4 cups water
Heat 18 inch sauté pan. Add ground meat with 3 tbsp. of salt Cook fully. Do not drain.
In a 3-gallon stock pot add 1 cup EVOO and heat till light smoke. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Lightly cook until there is no color on the vegetables.
Add tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes stirring every 1-2 minutes to prevent burn.
Add paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, cumin, chili flake and remaining salt. Stir together.
Add meat (with the juices) and stir together.
Once all is combined add the water and stir again.
Cook chili for 20 minutes stirring every 3 minutes so it doesn’t burn.
Let the chili come to room temperature.
Portion and freeze for future use.