Bloody Mary Mix Is The Unexpected Ingredient You Should Add To Chili

Ladle with chili
Ladle with chili - Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images

With so many different recipes and variations available, chili is a versatile food that can showcase a wide range of flavors. In addition to the traditional beef version, there's vegan chili or pulled turkey chili. Some recipes even include surprising ingredients like chocolate or whiskey, or this pumpkin chili with moonshine sour cream. There is, however, one ingredient you might not have tried yet that will leave you with your face in your palm, asking "Why didn't I think of that?" -- Bloody Mary mix! And why not? It adds a flavorsome kick that's sure to delight any chili fan.

Since chili already includes a heavy helping of tomato sauce, the mix's tomato juice base is perfect for this Tex-Mex-style stew. The spicy taste of Bloody Mary also fits well, adding a nice kick without any extra hot peppers needed. Many mixes contain horseradish, which will add not only heat but also a distinctive and unexpected flavor. Additionally, the lime, celery salt, and Worcestershire sauce can add extra high notes and undertones which will definitely delight your palate.

Read more: The Best Slow Cooker Recipes

A Celebrity Chef Endorsement

A Bloody Mary cocktail
A Bloody Mary cocktail - Igorr1/Getty Images

Maneet Chauhan is an executive chef with several of her own restaurants, and she also stars as a judge on "Chopped." She's also pretty well known for her Bloody Mary chili recipe, which calls for 4 cups of Bloody Mary mix — that's a full 32-ounce bottle. This means that while you might have some of your own in the refrigerator for Sunday brunches, you'll definitely want to pick up a fresh bottle if you try her recipe. Chauhan likes the Charleston Mix Bold & Spicy blend, but most spicy Bloody Mary mixes should do just fine. Look for one that tastes good on its own, as that same flavor will carry through to the chili.

Chili made with Bloody Mary mix is ideal for the slow cooker, but if you'd prefer, there's no reason not to make it on the stovetop — or the campfire. Whatever the cooking method, the key is that extra kick from the Bloody Mary mix. Of course, the spicier it is, the better.

Try Making Your Own Bloody Mary Mix

Cocktail shaker and Bloody Mary ingredients
Cocktail shaker and Bloody Mary ingredients - Tatiana Yashina/Shutterstock

If you're not a fan of store-bought mixes and prefer to craft your own Bloody Marys, so much the better! Whip up a big batch of your signature Bloody Mary mix for your own mouth-watering chili. That way, you'll be able to control the exact combinations of ingredients just the way you like it. Making your own mix also gives you the option to swap ingredients, such as switching out the regular tomato juice for Clamato, which will give your chili a sweeter taste with just a hint of clam. Why not try experimenting with different types of hot sauce, too, while you're at it?

Whichever way you choose, chili made with Bloody Mary mix is sure to delight. Anyone who tries it will no doubt be dying to know what the secret ingredient is. Who knows; you might start a whole new trend among chili lovers in your area.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.