So much flavor packed into this Gluten Free Ranch Style Chili. Your baked potatoes will be screaming for its accompaniment.
I have just expanded my vocabulary by two words: coagulate and congeal.
I knew the gist of these two words before about two seconds ago, but I wasn’t so sure of the difference. Just in case you are in need of a vocabulary lesson (I swear my mental word bank decreases by at least 100-200 words a year), coagulate is when a liquid solidifies, and congeal is anything in general solidifying.
I’m going to talk about congealing here for a moment.
Take any powder or granule, whether it be spices, sugar, salt, etc., leave it in Hawaii for a few weeks, and you will observe this natural phenomenon. EVERYTHING congeals.
It’s like a race to see how quickly I can use my Costco sized sea salt container, or how much cumin, garlic powder, and lemon pepper I can use in my cooking before the entire bottle becomes rock hard. Try using up a potent spice like turmeric or ginger before science takes over. It’s near impossible.
I could stock my freezer full of bagged spice mixtures, but then I’m quite positive my sanity would suffer. My freezer and fridge space is limited as is.
I’ve heard that you can put grains of rice or popcorn kernels in with your salt to keep it from hardening, but I haven’t tried that yet. Basically I’m too lazy to open up the salt container and pour in some rice. Instead I just bang the crap out of the bottle to loosen up some granules right before cooking. It’s a good way to relieve some stress anyway.
But in all honesty, I was a little perturbed yesterday looking forward to making some ranch flavored chili, knowing that I had some ranch seasoning in my spice cabinet, only to find that it had CONGEALED into one large, sorry lump of crap.
…or NO fail.
Looks like it was time to improvise in the kitchen, which is basically my favorite thing to do.
I knew that ranch seasoning is basically a mixture of spices and herbs mixed with some milk or buttermilk, so I was pretty sure I could recreate or at least closely replicate the flavors of ranch in my chili from my variety of spices that had not quite died yet. And that’s exactly what I did.
Say hello to this glorious Gluten Free Ranch Style Chili! It is just that: glorious. Find all the flavors you savor in this simple, healthy, satisfying fall/winter (or ANYTIME) meal.
I first started off with frying some bacon with diced onions, carrots, and mushrooms because, HELLO, who doesn’t like bacon and ranch together? Um, pretty much no one. And if you are one of those people, I will not hesitate to call you crazy, deranged, freakish, insane, or any other word of this sort. Braelyn would simply resort to calling you “Cray Cray!,” which I think sums it up quite well.
By cooking the bacon with these base veggies, they absorb that smoky, salty flavor that adds another dimension to the chili. Once the veggies have cooked, you throw in your ground meat of choice (I tried lean ground pork for the first time and it was delicious!) along with a few cloves of minced garlic and saute until the meat is cooked through.
Once everything has cooked, you work on the saucy part. This is where the ranch flavoring comes in. Along with other spices, I added in some dried dill weed. Sounds weird, but it gave this chili the most amazing flavor. It was so subtle, but definitely reminiscent of a little ranch flavor, seeing as how every ranch I’ve tried has dill in it.
Along with the dill, I added some milk and lemon juice to the sauce mixture. Since buttermilk ranch is the best, and homemade buttermilk can be made using milk and lemon juice, I thought, “What the heck! Why not?!” Again, it was a good call. The lemon barely comes through and gives it another element of acidity besides the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Finish it off with a little coconut sugar or brown sugar to balance out the acidity, and you have yourself an award winning chili. Ben said it’s the best chili I’ve ever made, and I make A LOT of chili. It’s one of my favorite things to eat.
Oh, and on top of this chili being so easy to make, it can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Now that’s my kind of meal. Easy peasy lemon squeezy…with actual lemons.
So whether it be summer or the dead of winter, you can always rely on this chili to be a crowd pleaser. And not only will it warm your soul, but it will melt your insides. No coagulating chili here!
Do you make chili year round?
- 3 slices thick cut bacon
- ½ large onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
- 1 lb. lean ground pork
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1¼ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ¾ teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- dash of cayenne
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
- 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.)
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons white rice flour
- 1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. While pot is heating, chop bacon strips into peanut sized pieces. Add bacon to pot and reduce heat to just below medium.
- Cut and chop veggies. Add onion, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot with the bacon. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and stir. Stir occasionally for 6-8 minutes or until onions are translucent and bacon is cooked through.
- Add ground beef and minced garlic. Season with additional ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir and cook until pork is no longer pink, about 5 more minutes.
- Add chili powder, cumin, parsley, ground mustard, dill weed, paprika, additional 1 teaspoon of salt, a dash of cayenne pepper, coconut or brown sugar, and juice of a lemon. Stir and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let slightly thicken, while stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir chili. Season to taste. Serve with desired toppings.