Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Laurel's Slow Burn Chili Recipe

It's fall - time for what my husband and I call the "Soup Of The Week Club."  That simply means when cold weather comes, we make a kettle of soup almost every week and use it for a meal, and then have the leftovers for lunches at work.  I rotate through a handful of favorites, and occasionally try something new.  This week we're back to an old standby - chili.

I make chili two ways:  vegetarian, and with ground beef.  Today's choice is with meat.  It's one of those dishes that varies a little each time I make it, since I'm not a measuring kind of cook, especially for soups.  I like my chili spicy, rich and flavorful, with a definite slow burn to it - not masochistically spicy-hot (I'm not into painful food), but it's more than hot enough that you KNOW you're enjoying real chili when you take your first taste.  If you usually prefer mild chili, this isn't the recipe for you!   Here's the recipe as I made it today:

Laurel's Slow Burn Chili 

2 1/2 pounds ground beef (85-90% lean)
2 15 oz. cans  low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 15 oz. cans low sodium dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large jar chunky salsa (about 2 1/2 cups - any generic/store brand salsa is fine; I use medium hot salsa)
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes (for extra heat, you can use canned diced tomatoes with green chilies)
3 Tbsp. chili powder  (I like  Penzey's hot chili powder, but you can use mild chili powder or less chili powder to tone it down - although why you'd want to is beyond me ;-)
3 tsp. chipotle powder
3 tsp. ground cumin

Brown the meat in a stock pot with a little vegetable oil.  I always pepper my chili meat while it cooks, but I don't add extra salt.  Drain off the excess fat.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot; don't skimp on the spices.  (Chipotle is smoked, dried, ground jalapeno peppers.  It adds a nice, smoky, slow heat to the chili.  It's worth using the full amount for the amazing flavor.)  Bring the chili to a slow boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting on your stove, and simmer it for at least an hour (stir occasionally).  The longer it simmers, the better it gets, and it's even tastier the following day as leftovers.  Serve hot, with sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.  Corn bread is also a nice side dish for this meal.  (Or, if you're from Cincinnati, serve it over spaghetti.  Really.)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great!! (I'm not into painful food, either!) lol