Chili may be one of those perfect meals. Done right, it has every major food group. It is super economical. It freezes well. It’s Super Bowl food. Sunday night food. And easily-nuked-for-lunch-leftovers food.
And there are millions of ways of tweeking the recipe, so you don’t get bored. Here’s my recipe for chili and my latest twist.
My Basic Chili Recipe
- 3 tablespoons of oil (I always use olive, but use whatever you have)
- 1 large onion
- 1 green pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1-1/2 pounds of meat (Get the fatty stuff. It’s cheaper and tastier.)
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 1 35 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 squirts of tomato paste from the tube
- 1/4 cups of chili powder (the best that you can find. Quality matters here.)
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne
- 3 15.5 oz. cans of beans (Use whatever you have. I like black beans and pink beans.)
- Saute the onion, pepper, and garlic in the oil in a large frying pan. Dump in a big pot.
- Brown the meat. Drain in colander. Dump in a big pot.
- Add spices, both kinds of tomatoes, and broth. Cook for 45 minutes.
- Add beans. Cook for another 15 minutes.
At this point, you’ll have an awesome dinner. Put out little bowls of cilantro, sour cream, hot peppers, hot sauce, and grated cheese. This meal will feed about 10-12.
But why stop there? If you’re on Day 2 of the chili or you’re just feeling fancy, there are other ways to use the chili. Add it over hot dogs or German sausages for a deconstructed chili dog. I like to add it on top of chunks of sweet potatoes that were simply boiled in salt water.
Chili, chunks of sweet potato, sour cream, and cilantro (that should really be a bowl of tons of cilantro, but I’m a lousy food stylist.)
Put four or five nice chunks of sweet potato on the bottom of the bowl.
Smother with chili.
Top with sour cream and tons of cilantro.