Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Chilly, Let's Make Chili!

Happy Monday, y'all! I hope everyone had as spectacular of a weekend as I did! Today, I'm gonna give you guys my favorite chili recipe. This recipe is an amalgamation of several that I have tried, and I think it's pretty great. You can make adjustments to suit your own tastes, time frame, and food source preferences.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound hot sausage
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cans of beans (red kidney, pinto, tri-bean blend)
1/2 onion (whichever kind you prefer)
3 cloves garlic
1 pack of hot chili seasoning
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt/pepper to taste

*I use grass-fed organic beef, organic "no-salt added" tomatoes, organic beans, etc. You don't have to, and obviously I'm not that much of a stickler for organic since I put Tennessee Pride sausage all up in this chili, but I try to be good where I can.

**The beans I use are the Simple Truth brand from Kroger - love love LOVE this brand.
You can use any kind you want - this recipe is as flexible as a Romanian gymnast. I also used pre-minced garlic, cause homegirl is busy.

***You can adjust the heat to your taste - this level is what most people consider "hot," I consider it to have a little kick. For less heat, use mild sausage, nix the red pepper flakes, and go with mild chili seasoning. For more, add some jalapenos, habeneros, or more red pepper flakes. Pick your poison.
****If you don't eat sausage, just double the beef. If you don't eat beef or sausage, you can sub in ground turkey or chicken and chicken or turkey sausage. Again, we're on the floor exercise here, so plenty of room for personal interpretation.

Okay, so here's what you do.
1) Dice the garlic and onions, put in a big sauté pan with a little olive oil and sauté until garlic is browning and the onions are soft. Put these in a bowl to the side.
2) Put the beef and sausage into the same sauté pan (don't bother cleaning it) and brown fully. Drain off the extra fat.
3) Add back the onions and garlic, plus the can of diced tomatoes. Let this all marry up for a few minutes on low heat. Drain (this is optional - if you prefer a more soupy chili, leave this liquid in. I like mine more like a stew, so I drain)
4) Depending on time, we can go two ways here:
a) If you are short on time, put the beans (rinse them first), tomato sauce, seasonings (all of them), and the meat/onion/tomato mixture into a big stock pot. Heat over medium high heat until it's bubbling, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer as long as you have time to let it simmer.
b) If you have plenty of time, do the same mixture in a crock pot, put it on low, and walk away.
5) Eat you some chili!


It's really, really hard to mess this up. If you're single, the ingredients cost about $20, but I get about 10-12 servings out of this, so less than $2 a meal works out pretty well. It keeps for up to a week, but I find myself eating it for 2 meals a day after I make it, and it gets better each time. You can also freeze this bad boy pretty successfully. If you want to stretch it more for less money, cut one of the meats and add an extra can of beans - it'll save you about $3-5 depending on the cost of meat at your grocery store. Again, this recipe moves with you, so feel free to play around with the quantities. For a little something extra, have some shredded cheese or sour cream on hand.

Y'all stay warm, now!

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