This chili is loaded with veggies. The vegetable flavors enhance the sauce in such a delicious way that you are going to love this recipe. It turns out so good, that you can easily prepare a vegetarian chili by omitting the beef and doubling some of the ingredients as indicated below.
500 g ground beef (Omit for the veggie version.)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion – finely chopped
1 carrot – peeled, chopped in small cubes (Use 2 for the veggie version.)
1 red bell pepper – peeled, seeded, and chopped in small cubes (Use 2 for the veggie version.)
1 zucchini/courgette – chopped in small cubes (Use 2 for the veggie version.)
5 hot chili peppers – finely chopped. Remove the seeds if you prefer it milder, or add a few more chilies if you like it hot!
300 g mushrooms – cut in quarters (Use 600 g for the veggie version.)
400 g red kidney beans – canned, or use dried beans. Dried beans need to be pre-soaked in a large bowl for at least 6 hours or overnight, at room temperature.
1 can (400 g) pomodori pelati or 280 g plum tomatoes – peeled, seeded
1 bottle (700 g) passata
50 g milk chocolate
1 sachet (25 g) seasoning mix for tacos or better mix your own (ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and lemon pepper)
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup red wine
To serve: bread / sour cream (optional)
Peel/chop/cut the ingredients (onion, carrot, red bell pepper, zucchini/courgette, chilis, mushrooms) as required.
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until soft and edges are lightly brown.
Add ground beef and brown it. This step is not necessary for the veggie version.
Add carrot, red bell pepper, zucchini, chilis, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, passata, and chocolate (my secret ingredient!). Break the plum tomatoes while stirring well.
Season with mix (bought or your own), salt, and pepper to taste. Stir well.
Bring it to boil. Pour in the wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom, and leave the alcohol to cook away (about 1 min).
Cover and cook over low heat for, at least, 1 hour if using beef. The vegetarian version needs only 30 min.
We love this one-pot meal accompanied by bread.
Serve it with a dollop of sour cream to add a fresh touch.