Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another way to make chili

Nothing better for this time of year than either home-made soup or home-made chili.

There are almost as many ways to make chili as there are people who cook chili.  And there are twice as many wrong ways to cook chili because every last dang chili cook knows better than to ....

That's why it's always a risk to post a recipe for The Best Darn Chili You Ever Tasted — you just know half the people reading it are saying to themselves, "Well, that's the start, but what if you took out this, and added that?"  (And you have Texans who grump, "If it's got beans in it, then it ain't real chili!")

You know what, folks?  I've had KC barbecue, Texas barbecue and someday, God willing, I'll sit down to some Tennessee barbecue with Frank WeathersIt's all great!  I've had chili with beans, without beans, using hamburger, beef, chicken, turkey ... and it's all great!  Don't get hung up on one style of chili, or barbecue, or pizza or whatever, because you never know how a variation tastes until you try it.

With that said, let me give you a variation on a recipe we picked up from Bush's Best® for Black Bean Chili:

1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, diced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 15-oz. cans Bush's Best black beans
2 14-oz cans Ro-Tel® diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 11-oz. can Green Giant® Mexicorn®
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste

Lightly coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or small stock pot  with olive oil; brown meat over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste.  When meat is about halfway browned, add onion; about a minute before meat is fully browned, add minced garlic.

Add all canned ingredients to pot without draining.  Bring to a bubbling boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Add chili powder and cumin, usually about 4:3 ratio (i.e., ¾ tsp. cumin for every tsp. chili powder).  Simmer uncovered for about 1½-2 hours, adding water or beef stock to prevent drying out, until beans are tender and liquid is reduced to desired thickness.  Serve with crackers, shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey jack) and diced onions.