I'm always excited to devour Justin's chili. Lemon zest elevates this classic comfort food to a new level, adding a zingy freshness that brightens the taste of the whole dish. I promise you'll love it too - everyone loves Justin's chili :-)
Another bonus? This recipe is fast and easy. We love eating chili over a baked jacket potato with a dollop of sour cream, and by the time your potato has cooked, this chili will be ready to serve on top. So throw your spuds in the oven, and then get started on this recipe...
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 long red chili pepper, finely diced (if you don't like too much heat, you can remove the seeds)
- 1 red pepper, diced (capsicum)
- 30 oz tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz tin tomatoes, ideally fire roasted
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for cooking
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ cup - 1 cup beef stock
- Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until soft and fragrant, but not brown.
- Add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and saute until cooked through.
- Add the chili, red pepper, red kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and lemon zest. Stir to combine, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the mushrooms, stir, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Now's the time to taste the chili and decide if you'd like to add any more heat (the cayenne pepper), or seasoning (salt, pepper, or lemon zest). Add the spice and seasonings to taste. Now's also the time to evaluate the texture; if it's too thick, add some beef stock. If it's too thin, add some more tomato paste, and let the chili simmer for a little longer.
- This chili tastes awesome straight away, and possibly slightly even more awesome overnight. Serve over a baked jacket potato, or rice, with a dollop of sour cream. Sliced avocado and a sprinkle of fresh parsley are delicious on top too.
- I have made this recipe with ground turkey and it tastes great. I've also made it with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, and that was great too.
- This recipe is defined by the addition of lemon zest, so be generous with this ingredient. It really brightens up the recipe, and gives the whole dish a wonderful freshness. Keep tasting the chili as it cooks, because the taste develops as the different flavors combine. Feel free to add more lemon zest along the way, tasting as you go.
- This chili freezes perfectly, so I often make a double portion and freeze half. If it's too thick when you reheat it, add a little beef stock.