Play with your food chili

  • About 2 lbs of meat-sometimes I cut steak into chunks, sometimes I use chopped meat, sometimes I use sausage in bulk, or mix it up. Turkey or chicken will work too, and leftover meat is Ok.
  • 3-4 Tbs oil, olive oil is fine, corn oil is even better.
  • 1 very large onion (I love vidalias) or 2 smaller yellow onions,
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, minced,
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced. If you use the jarred stuff instead, (I often do) 4 Tbs.
  • 1 carrot sliced, (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color),
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes,
  • 2 cans (use the same can), water or broth (beef, chicken or vegetable),
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin,
  • 2-4 Tbs Chili powder (splurge here good chili powder makes a difference). Throw in some chili peppers if you want (no more then 2 and remove the seeds,but be careful, it can get pretty hot) Keep tasting as you go along.
  • 2 bay leaves,
  • 2 Tbs basil chopped fine or 2 tsps dried,
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, or 1 Tbs. chopped fresh,
  • 2-4 cans of beans(red, pink, black).
  • Optional add-ons: chopped onion, black olives, sour cream, saltines,tortilla chips, and whatever else you think might be good.

Cut, mince, slice and dice your vegetables while you brown the meat. If you are not familiar with how long this takes, watch it and keep the heat low. Chunks will take longer than chopped, so put them in first. When the meat is browned, drain it and set it aside. Put the rest of the oil into the same big pot and heat it. Throw in the onion and celery and soften it for about 5 minutes, Add the garlic, wait 2 more minutes and put in the carrot, pepper and tomatoes.  Don't drain them, add 1 can of liquid. Add the meat.  Add the spices and adjust to taste. Cook for at least 1 hour on low to medium flame. Watch it and stir regularly. Eventually you will have a good idea of how much attention needs to be paid to this, but take it slow at first. Keep adding liquid as needed, and cook for as long as you can. Chili tastes better the longer you cook it, even better if you make ahead, refrigerate and eat the next day. Before serving, add the beans and reheat. If it's not thick enough, take a couple of spoonfuls of the liquid and add cornmeal. Then replace the liquid and give it time to thicken. Not enough? Do it again until you reach the desired thickness. Now, fill up bowls with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped onion, Saltines or tortilla chips, guacomole, sliced olives, and let your guests decorate their own Chili. Or enjoy it yourself, and freeze/refrigerate the rest.

Total Time:
Prep Time:0 min.
Cook Time:0 min.
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