Since moving to Colorado my family's tradition has been to make chili the evening after the first hard freeze, usually some time in October. I like to add a cup of warm spiced cider to go along with my chili.
Quick and Dirty Chunky Beef Chili
1 lb. beef stew meat
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed minced (1 tsp. if from a can)
Chili powder, paprika, cumin, seasoned salt and pepper to taste (I use a LOT of chili powder)
Lime juice to taste
Add ingredients to a sauce pan on medium heat until it starts to boil, then put down to simmer and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I find that the onion, tomato and stew meat have enough moisture for the texture I prefer in my chili, but if you like yours a little more soupy, adding a cube or two of frozen beef bone broth is a good addition. Serves 2-3. To stretch into more servings I suggest serving with quesadillas, made with gluten free corn tortillas of course.
Fall Spiced Cider
1 gallon apple juice or cider
2 tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
1 cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
Cheese cloth or tea strainer
Pour liquid ingredients into a large sauce pan. Simmer on low to medium-low heat (higher heat destroys all the great vitamin C in the juices). Put 1 tbsp. of mulling spices into a cheese cloth bag or tea strainer and add to the pot. (Technically you can put them in loose, but then you have to be careful not to pour them into the drink, and you also can't take them out and reuse them for a fragrance simmer pot). This recipe freezes well, so you can make ice cubes out of the left overs, then pop them into a mug to reheat any time the urge for a cup of spiced cider strikes.