My Secret Ingredient

Everyone has their own take on Chili. No two chilis are ever the same. It’s a universal, American dish that many make during the cold months—or as we like to call it these days, the inescapable polar vortex of hell. You can make it spicy or mild; with or without meat, and you can pretty much throw in the kitchen sink if your heart and palate desires. I have a few chili recipes that I rotate—traditional chili with ground round, white chicken chili, and a new turkey chili recipe that’s similar to Panera’s.


I changed up my traditional chili the other day, and incorporated as many veggies as possible to give it more texture and flavor. Carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, chili beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, in addition to canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Oh, and water, otherwise you’ll just have a mass of sludge.

My secret ingredient is probably something you already have in your pantry and you would never consider putting in chili, but trust me, it makes a world of difference, and prevents the chili from being too acidic (from the tomatoes). Here it is: Beef gravy. Yep. Learned that from an old farmer—my dad.

You’re welcome.