Chili: One Spice at a Time

I’m pretty fond of chili because of its versatility. So using pre-cooked, frozen stew beef with onions as the base was relatively easy for the Midtown Farmers’ Market at North Hills a week ago.  The blend of spices that I used for the market came from Savory Spice Shop and replaces a pre-mix that I normally use so that I can control the sodium more closely. This recipe is on the spicy side. I’m not sure that the sample that folks had at the market really allowed the “heat” and different levels of peppers to come through adequately because I served it on noodles to make it easier to eat. So please taste as you go and note that each chile has a different “heat level”.  I served this with some  Ashe County Sharp Cheddar Cheese that I’m able to get at the NoFo Market. But there are several other local cheeses that I think might work well with this recipe and our local vendors are always surprising me with new products!


Spicy Beef Chili


  • 1 lb of pre-cooked stew beef (sautéed with 1 onion for 1 hour before freezing)
  • 2 cups roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 -1 cup of sweet onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo Chile, crushed flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Guajillo Chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ancho Chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mild Chimayo Chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sweet Paprika powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Aji Amarillo Chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano, ground
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Alderwood Salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 oz favorite fresh salsa
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2-1 cup tomato juice or water
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch


  • Put it all in a dutch oven on medium heat and stir it occasionally as the liquid reduces to keep from burning. I believe this would also work in on low in a slow cooker.
  • It should be simmering the whole time. The meat will break up further in the process.
  • I serve this chili without beans, unlike all of my other recipes.
  • Instead of adding sour cream, try mixing a local yogurt with some fresh chopped green onions


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