Sunday, November 11, 2012

Classic Chili

There is something about the fall and winter that puts me in the mood to cook and bake. I especially love to make soups and stews. This week hubby and I were craving some chili. I have tried making chili once before and it didn't turn out so great. This time I looked up tons of chili recipes to get an idea of the proportion of meat and veggies to liquid so I would have a general idea of how to get the right consistency. From there I thought of the flavors I wanted in my chili and began creating my recipe.

Oh my. It turned out amazing. Both hubby and I were shocked. I mean I am a decent cook, but there are plenty of times I try and make some new creation and it turns out terribly. Not this time though. This chili was rocking!

Here is my recipe:

1 medium yellow onion, diced (save some out for garnishing your chili if you like fresh onions on top)
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (I use a garlic press because its easy and I like easy!)
1 lb ground sirloin
2 mild italian sausages, casings removed
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 15 oz. can mild Rotel, do not drain
Half of 1 small can of tomato paste
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can red beans
1 15 oz. can pinto beans
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste, I used a dash
2 dashes oregano
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Heat a dutch oven (you can use a pot...I just love my heavy enamel coated dutch ovens for making soups and stews) over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan and sauté the onion, pepper, and garlic until soft and slightly brown. Add the ground sirloin and sausage (chopping sausage into crumbles with your spoon as you sauté) and cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain grease from pan.

Reduce heat to low and add your dry seasonings: chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper to taste and mix in well. Important note: My chili powder has other seasonings mixed into it. It is called Valle del Sol Chili Powder and it is the 365 Everyday Value brand from Whole Foods. The ingredients list chili peppers, cumin, dehydrated garlic, oregano, coriander, cloves, and allspice. I definitely think this added to the flavor of the chili. If you want to use what's in your panty though just play around with your spices and maybe throw in some of the things that are in my chili powder to create your own.
This picture really wanted to be blurry and I don't know why!
Add in the wet ingredients: undrained diced tomatoes and Rotel, tomato sauce, and the half can of tomato paste (save the other half in case you need to thicken your chili up at the end). Drain and rinse your beans and add them. Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure to taste towards the end to check your seasonings and see what you need to add. I get this from my mother who does not measure anything when she cooks but rather throws things in and comes up with something delicious.

If you follow the recipe as I have given it the chili will come out pretty zesty. I love spicy things and this was the right amount of heat for me. Not too hot, but not bland either. It was the perfect heat. Be careful of getting too crazy with the cayenne or choosing to use hot Rotel instead. That is why I recommend tasting your seasonings at the end and then adjusting. It's hard to recover a burning spicy pot of chili but it is super easy to add more heat if you want it.

Serve chili hot off the stove with your desired toppings. I like sharp cheddar cheese, diced onions, and sour cream. Cornbread is the perfect side for a bowl full of chili. I wish I could claim the cornbread recipe too, but one recipe creation in a night was enough for me, and I resorted to the good old box of Jiffy out of the pantry. ;)



  1. This looks absolutely delicious! I will be trying this :)

    1. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry I am so late in replying! I hope you enjoy it if you make it. :) Looking back at this post puts me in the mood for chili again...guess its going in to the dinner plan for next week!