Cooking Up Some Comfort

Whether you’re making a cozy weeknight meal or cooking up a storm to feed the masses during a Sunday football game, chili is the perfect go-to winter dish. It’s hearty, easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. But it can also be easy to fall into a chili rut, making the same recipe time and time again. To help shake things up, we asked three local chefs to share their take on this timeless classic. So, grab your apron and your biggest pot and try something new this season.

The Red Standard

Jimm’s Steakhouse and Pub (1935 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-886-5466, offers up a chili recipe that doesn’t stray too far from traditional, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. It’s a great choice for those moments when you’re looking to make picky palates happy.  It also works as a solid base for any toppings your heart might desire.

CHEF ANTHONY'S CHILI (Recipe courtesy of Jimm’s Steakhouse & Pub)

Serves 8


1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon drippings

2 pounds ground beef or steak tips

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Williams chili seasoning

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced

1 can pinto beans

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

To Prepare

Heat oil in a pan. Brown meat. Add onions, garlic and chili seasoning. Cook until onions are softened, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and jalapeños. Bring the pot to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 to 25 minutes. Add beans and bring to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.


The Green Queen

When it comes to Mexican cooking, chili verde reigns supreme on the chili scene. And El Imperial (523 Main St., Cabool, 417-962-3388) is cooking up some of the best chili verde in 417-land. The chefs at El Imperial combine peppers, tomatillos, pork and a whole slew of other tasty ingredients to create this spicy green chili.

CHILI VERDE (Recipe courtesy of El Imperial) 

Serves 15


3 pounds of pork butt

3 pounds of pork loin

2 tablespoons of salt

2 cups of hot oil

8–10 Serrano peppers 

10 Anaheim peppers 

1 medium white onion 

¼ cup whole peeled garlic

1 pound of tomatillos 

1 tablespoon of cumin

To Prepare

Cut pork into chunks and place in a large pot. Sprinkle with salt, cover the pot and cook on high for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the pork’s natural moisture to steam the meat. Once the meat has steamed, uncover the pot, add oil and continue to cook until the meat has browned. This allows flavor to develop.  Add all other ingredients and cook on low for 20 to 30 minutes. 


Eye on the Prize

Wes Johnson, co-owner and chef at Metropolitan Farmer (2144 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-720-1665, ups the ante on run-of-the-mill chili by using ribeye steak as the meat in this recipe. We also like the subtle spice that shines through.

RIBEYE CHILI (Recipe Courtesy of Metropolitan Farmer)

Serves 12 


3 pounds ribeye steak cut into half-inch cubes

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

¼ cup olive oil

3 large onions, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 hot peppers, seeded and finely diced

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

4 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup green onion, chopped

To Prepare  

Season beef with salt and pepper and sear in hot oil in a large saute pan. Add onions, garlic and peppers to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the pan comes clean from the softening onions. Stir in chili powder, cumin, tomatoes and beans. Cover and cook on low for two to three hours. Fold in green onions and serve.

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