Chili

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We woke up this morning to our first snow of the year in Western North Carolina!  Granted it was more of a dusting than accumulations, but it was snow nonetheless.  I love love snow!  I took a quick picture and sent it to my son and his wife in Alabama since I’m figuring they’re probably not going to be seeing much if any down there, so they can share in the excitement!

On a cold snowy day, I love a big pot of soup, stew or some kind of chili.  A nice thick hearty chili chocked full of meat, beans and corn is a favorite of mine.  That’s what I thought of this morning and I want to share my favorite chili recipe.  Here, I did it on the cook top, but you can transfer it into your slow cooker and let it simmer all day.  It’s one that will make you feel warm and comfort in each and every bite.  Add a cake of southern cornbread slathered with a stick of butter and I’m all set!

Tip:  When you’re fixing this for one, two or a few people, this will give you some great leftovers.  For us, I let the chili cool and put it into freezer containers and freeze.  It freezes perfectly!  During the week when I need a quick and easy dinner after work, I pull one of the containers out in the morning and let it thaw in the refrigerator all day.  I have forgotten to do that and pulled it out of the freezer after I got home and heated it up, it just takes a little longer.

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Here’s how I make it.

Chili

Chili

In a large pot, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until it’s almost done.   Drain any excess fat.

The leaner the beef, the less fat you’ll have.  My personal preference is ground chuck.  I feel like it has the right balance.  Another thing I’ve done here is split the meat into 1 pound of ground beef plus 1 pound of beef stew meat.  I actually did that because I didn’t have 2 pounds of ground beef in the freezer and the beef stew meat was what I did have on hand.  It works great as long as you’re simmering the chili for awhile so the stew meat gets nice and tender.

Chili

Stir in the chopped shallots.  You can substitute some red or sweet yellow onion for the shallots.

Chili

Stir in the bell pepper.  Finish browning the meat, onions and peppers until the meat is cooked through and the onions and peppers are soft.

You can probably see in the photo here that these bell peppers are frozen.  When I get them out of my garden and I know I really don’t need them for a meal any time soon, I’ll go ahead and chop them up and freeze them in freezer bags.  Sure does come in handy when I don’t have fresh on hand!

Chili

Add the garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir to incorporate throughout the meat mixture.

Chili

Add the drained kidney beans, black beans and frozen corn.

Chili

If you like a bit of punch like we do, add the chopped jalapenos.

You can probably see here that the jalapenos are frozen as well.  See a theme going on here?

Chili

Now add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  I like the creaminess of the sauce with the texture of the diced tomatoes.  If I have a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos already in it, I like to use that one.  You can certainly use what ever you have on hand.

Chili

To me, tomato paste really adds a nice depth of flavor to the sauce.  I use all of a small can.

Chili

Stir well, put on the lid and bring it to a nice boil.  Turn down the burner to a low setting and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes.  If you do decide to use stew meat, let that simmer for a couple of hours.  Truly, the longer it simmers, the better the flavors marry, in my humble opinion…

  Chili

Top it with some cheddar cheese and that’s a meal fit for sitting in front of the fireplace enjoying the winter weather.  If you have any leftovers, don’t forget to freeze some!

Chili

Chili is one of those dishes that have so many options.  What is your favorite chili?

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Here’s the printer friendly recipe.

Chili

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Chili

On a cold snowy day, I love a big pot of soup, stew or some kind of chili. This is a nice thick hearty chili chocked full of meat, beans and corn is a favorite of mine. It can simmer on the cook top, or in a slow cooker all day. Plus it freezes perfectly for those weeknight meals when you need something quick.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 large shallots, diced, or 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 - 15 ounce can dark kidney beans, drained
  • 1 - 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels.
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1 - 29 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 - 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 - 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, brown ground chuck until it's almost done.
  2. Drain excess fat.
  3. Add the shallots or onions and stir.
  4. Add the bell pepper and stir.
  5. Continue cooking until the ground chuck is cooked through and the shallots and peppers are tender.
  6. Add the garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Add the drained kidney beans, black beans and corn.
  9. Stir.
  10. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  11. Stir well and cover with a lid.
  12. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low setting and let the chili simmer for a least 30 minutes. The longer the better!
  13. Serve, topped with cheddar cheese.
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