Chili can be a sensitive topic. What with all the chili contests and chili cook offs, it seems like everyone has a favorite recipe that is The Only Right Way to Make Real Chili. I don’t claim to be an expert or even a particularly picky connoisseur. I just throw together what looks good, cook it for a while and enjoy it.
The weather is warming up but be sure to enjoy a steaming pot of chili before it gets too hot. The chilies in this dish will provide plenty of heat.
For this batch, I stretched it to make enough to share by throwing in extra beans and tomatoes. I usually use about half this amount. And, as always, I made up a batch of cornbread while the chili was simmering. The two go together perfectly.
- Ground Beef, about 1.5 pounds
- Diced Tomatoes, 2 large cans
- Kidney Beans, light and/or dark, 4 cans
- Onion, 1 large
- Garlic, 4 or 5 cloves
- Dried Chile Peppers, 3 or 4
- Chili Powder, a combination of plain old Mexene, Chipotle Chili Powder and a friend’s homemade blend of Super Hot Chili Powder
- Bay Leaves, 2 or 3
- Cocoa Powder
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Beef Bouillon
Heat a large pot over medium high heat.Add the ground beef and let it brown, stirring occasionally. If it’s lean enough you won’t need to drain it.Meanwhile, slice the onion and crush the garlic.Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook until the onion starts to brown, stirring every now and then.While the onion is cooking, drain and rinse the beans and open the tomato cans.Add a little Worcestershire sauce, the tomatoes and the beans. Add the dried peppers and the dry spices. There’s really no magic amount but here’s what I used. Start with a tablespoon of oregano, a tablespoon of cumin and a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder.
The chili powder(s) are up to you. It just depends on how spicy the chili powder is and how spicy you like your chili. If you’re shy about the heat, add just a little to begin with. It’s much easier to heat it up than to cool it off!Add just enough water to almost cover everything, along with a tablespoon or two of beef base. Or just use beef stock.
Bring it to a nice low boil, reduce the heat and then let it simmer for at least an hour. Stir it every now and then and cover it if it starts to get too thick. Taste it and adjust the seasoning as you like. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.Dish it up and top it with grated cheddar. Sour cream makes a nice topping too.