A view from my side.
Chili – a dish that everyone has their own, special, favorite, best recipe for. Anyone that has gone to college, anyone that has lived alone in an apartment while struggling with those first paychecks when you’re out on your own the first time, anyone that has ever cooked anything probably has a favorite chili. Often found simmering in the kitchen on a cool fall or cold winter afternoon, chili is a wondrous dish, with as many different ways to prepare it as there are people who eat it. I have so many memories that involve sitting around with family and friends, eating chili, watching a game and having fun.
I grew up with a very basic, slightly spicy chili. My mother used to cook it up on Saturday nights for consumption during Sunday afternoon football games. It freezes well and just improves with re-heating. I have modified her recipe only slightly over the years, but I always start with the same thing. Her chili, and therefore mine, has beans. It just has to, or it ain’t chili!
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 diced green/red pepper
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 to 16 oz) red kidney beans, undrained
Chop the onion, mince the garlic and brown with the meat, draining the fat. Add the tomatoes with the juices from the can and stir to mix. Turn up the heat and add the all the other ingredients except the beans, stirring to mix. Bring to a bubbling “boil” and then turn the heat down. Cover and let it simmer for an hour. Open the beans and add to the pot. I normally drain and rinse mine and add about half a can of water. You may want to add them with the liquid. Either way, it is a good time to add a bit more liquid to the pot at this point. Stir in the beans, cover and let simmer for another 30 minutes or so.
Feel free to adjust the spices as you see fit. Ex#3 was allergic to green/red peppers, so we didn’t have this often. I usually add more chili powder and cumin to mine but I do so only after tasting it as it cooks. It is pretty good just the way it is, but I am always “tweaking” it.
I always cook this in one 3 quart pot. If I double the recipe, then I use a bigger pot. Point being, for me, this is a one pot/skillet meal. No need to mess up any more than that since it is just going to sit and simmer for as long as I want it to.
Serve it up with some crackers and an ice-cold beer. Yeah…mighty tasty.