There’s something deliciously comforting about a cold night and a warm bowl of chili. The minute the trees begin to rustle I start aching for the kind of food that warms you from the inside out.
I’ve been meaning to put up my chili recipe for years now, but it’s a good thing I didn’t because I keep altering it. Adding things to it. Making it better.
To me, chili is at its best when it has layers and layers of heat and flavour. Different chiles, spices, beans and slow cooking are what’ll get you the best bowl of chili you’ve ever had.
You’ll be gassy enough to make your pajama pants billow out, but sometimes that’s fun.
I think we need to take a moment now to discuss how stupid I am.
For years I ate chili just as it came out of the pot. And I loved it. I ate toast or bread with it of course, but everyone does that. What I WASN’T doing (because I was stupid) was putting toppings on it. And then one day I did, and I wasn’t stupid anymore. I could even do math.
I now know that chili without toppings is like doing a crossword puzzle in pencil. It’s for amateurs.
As every hockey mom knows, chili a great thing to have for dinner because the prep work really only consists of chopping an onion and smashing some garlic. Then you throw everything into a pot or slow cooker and wait for the house to smell delicious. RIGHT when it starts to smell delicious, is when you drag the stinkfest of a hockey bag out to the minivan and get to hockey practice. Don’t forget to turn the chili off before going to hockey practice otherwise your house might catch on fire. Or worse. You’ll burn the chili.
Chopping an onion is easy enough, but if here’s a reminder on the fastest and easiest way to do it.
When you cook the ground beef DON’T forget to drain the fat from it! I use lean ground beef and I got just over 3 Tablespoons of fat from it. That’s 345 calories you got rid of. 86 calories per serving.
Want more STUFF like this?
Once you’ve cooked your beef and drained it all you have to do is add all of the ingredients into your most prized Christmas present and let ‘er cook for a couple of hours. If that Christmas present is a pair of flannel pajamas it may take a bit longer. And you’ll need a fire extinguisher handy. And a new pair of pajamas.
After a couple of hours of simmering and bubbling ladle it into a bowl, drop your toppings on, and enjoy. The earthy aroma will overpower the smell of the hockey bag, you’ve used toppings so you’ll feel smart, not stupid and the back of your pajama bottoms will be dancing in and out for a good couple of hours.
I can’t even imagine a better night.
You know those teeny, tiny sponge dinosaurs you can buy that blow up to 700X their original size when you put them in water? Well that’s what chili does when you put it in my stomach.
- 1½ lbs ground beef
- 1 large diced onion
- 1, 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (drained)
- 1-2 cups of tomato sauce (you can use canned spaghetti sauce if you have it in the cupboard)
- 1, 28 oz. can of kidney beans (drained)
- 1 can of pork & beans in tomato sauce (not drained)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsps. chili powder
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. oregano
- ¼ - ½ tsp. hot pepper flakes
- 4-5 shakes tabasco sauce
- 2 chipotle peppers, mashed (the type from a can)
- 1 chili pepper of your choice (I use yellow banana peppers or jalapeño)
- ½ tsp. salt
- Big old grinding of fresh pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Cut your hot pepper in half. Remove the seeds and membrane. Finely dice one half of the hot pepper. Reserve the other half.
- Add ground beef, onions, garlic and diced hot pepper to pot and cook until onions are transluscent and beef is browned.
- Add remaining ingredients (including the reserved half pepper)
- Bring to boil.
- Simmer for 2+ hours.
Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and parsley.
Because you're smart.
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