I can hardly believe the first day of spring (or the vernal equinox, if you want to get technical about it) is only three days away. It certainly isn't spring weather here but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we won't have too much longer to wait!
The only good things about the cold is a) the snow is pretty and b) it's a perfect excuse to whip up a big pot of chili. For the record, my chili recipe was very hard to share. Mainly because I never really follow it. It's my base recipe, if you will, and turns out a little different each time I make it.
That being said, it's very versatile. The only thing I measure exactly is the canned tomatoes and beans. Everything else is based off feel, taste and what I have on hand. Feel free to substitute whatever you have or whatever you feel like. Just a warning, though, this makes a really big pot of chili. But it freezes well and makes for very yummy leftovers.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 can (29 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cans (15 ounces) light red kidney beans
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans
Plus desired toppings
Chop bell pepper and onion. Combine with ground beef in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until ground beef is browned and vegetables are softened.
|I had red bell pepper so I added that, too.|
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings to taste. Simmer, for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. This recipe could simmer away all day as long as you keep an eye on it. It's also suitable for the slow cooker -- just cook the ground beef, veggies, and mix in the slow cooker with tomatoes and seasonings. Cook on low.
If you want a milder chili, use less cumin and omit the cayenne pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add more tomato sauce. Too thin, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it.
You can definitely halve the recipe if you don't want such a large pot. If you're interested in freezing, you can freeze any remaining leftovers in a gallon-sized ziploc bag or a freezer-safe plastic/glass container. Or you could divvy it up into single servings for a quick meal.