It’s really easy to customize chili. There are so many chile powders to choose from. If you like a smokey flavor, add a bit of chipotle chile powder. The New Mexico chile powder has a brighter flavor and redder color. Classic chile powder is deeper and has the addition of some spices already in it. I’m not a huge cumin fan so I use just a tiny touch. If you love cumin, then use more. On the other hand I really like Mexican oregano, but it’s assertive so I just use a little pinch. I also love the trick of thickening a too thin chili with Maseca or masa harina, the flour used to make bad corn tortillas. In chili it’s delicious.
The type and grind of meat will also change the personality of your bowl. Ground meat is a classic. If you have a local butcher nearby ask him to coarse grind the chili meat for a change. Sometimes I like to make my bowl of red like a stew, with pieces of meat cut a bit smaller but still bigger than even a coarse grind will give you.
Chili is always better the next day (unless you use a pressure cooker). Serve it with bowls of minced raw onion, sour cream and grated sharp cheddar cheese.
pressure cooker instructions: Cook as the instructions below specify up to the point of simmering, except wait to add your cooked beans. Put on your pressure cooker lid and bring to high pressure. Stabilize pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Let depressurize naturally then open lid. Add the beans and let soak up flavor until ready to serve.