Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pretty darn good chili

I must start this with a confession. I normally hate chili. With the grand exception of my mom's white bean turkey chili, I have always managed to avoid eating it whenever it has been forced upon me. I'm not sure where my aversion comes from. Perhaps it's the tendency for it to appear as a topping for anything from hot dogs to nachos? Perhaps the oil that pools on its surface? I am usually just not ever a fan.

So when baby boy sat at the restaurant table devouring chili off my mom's plate, it was with not a little bit of hesitation that I ordered chili-making accoutrements last week. The kidney beans were staring me in the face all week long whenever I opened the cupboard, just daring me to take them down and introduce them to some chili powder. I successfully ignored their existence. Finally, with a dwindling fridge and a strong desire to avoid grocery shopping, I made chili today. And it was GOOD! And SO easy. So easy and so good that I feel compelled to share.

Olivia's pretty darn good, simple Chili

I used water because DH had drank all the Guinness that I stock for baking/cooking (how dare he!) Next time I am going to try 1 bottle of dark beer and also am going to grate a tablespoon or so of unsweetened chocolate in to the mix. I think the whole point and joy of chili is that anything goes!

Loosely based on a recipe from the bible, aka Joy of Cooking, 2006 edition

Serves 3-4

1 500-gram (18 oz) pack ground beef, not lean
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 400-gram (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 400-gram (16 oz) can kidney beans, with liquid
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chilpolte
10 black peppercorns
1 cup water or 1 small bottle of dark beer

In a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the beef and cook until cooked through. Add the onion and cook for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and the beans (with the liquid - do not drain!), cook for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine thoroughly. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low, put the lid on, and simmer for 2 hours. Serve with skillet cornbread.

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