Posted by: Maggie
I was browsing through our recipe index recently, and realized that Annie and I have been complete failures in providing recipes in certain food categories. There are recipes for cookies, cupcakes, and vegetarian food galore, but only FOUR beef recipes in our entire 2-year history of blogging.
As an ex-vegetarian who now loves bacon and juicy medium-rare steaks (especially if the latter is wrapped in the former,) this realization was simply unacceptable to me. I decided that a giant, meaty pot of chili was a necessity in my life, along with a batch of my favorite cornbread recipe.
I know I've mentioned on here before that I'm not crazy about most leftovers, and this is absolutely an exception. I sent Jeff home with a large portion of leftover chili, and still had enough to eat leftovers over rice, over pasta, over a baked potato, and over Fritos. Not all in one night of course. Eating that much chili in one night would be a bad decision for even the strongest of stomachs.
Here's what you'll need for about 3 quarts of chili:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds 85-percent lean ground beef
2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
Toppings: limes, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, diced avocado, shredded cheese, diced red onions, and sour cream or greek yogurt are all good choices!
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium until shimmering. Add the onions, red pepper, garlic, and spices (except salt) and cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft and the spices are fragrant (about 7-10 minutes.) If the veggies and spices start to stick to the bottom of the pan add a small splash of water. Increase the heat to medium-high and add half of the ground beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink (about 3-4 minutes.) Add the remaining beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink.
Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer with the lid on for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, and simmer for 1 more hour, stirring occasionally. I actually ended up simmering my chili for about 3.5 hours total since I was waiting for my dinner guest to arrive. If chili starts sticking to the bottom of the pot you can add in a bit of water and continue to simmer, but you probably won't need it. My pot isn't fancy - it's a thin, stainless steel pot from Target and I had no sticking problems.
Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve!
Side note: The chili is super duper thick on the first day you make it, and will thicken more as leftovers. In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to note that the photograph above was taken on day 3 of my chili's life.
Source: slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated