It’s in the air. Â You’ve no doubt felt it, as have I. Â I’ve been waiting for it since it left last spring. Â You know what I mean, right? Â The CHILL in the air. Â It was 37 degrees in the Queen City yesterday morning. Â The leaves are turning. Â Football is in full swing. Â The jeans and light sweaters have been resurrected from the back of the closet. Â It’s officially CHILLY outside. Â That means…
It’s time for CHILI inside!
Here’s how to make My Momma’s Chili…which just happens to be the best EVER!
First you start browning the beef
If that looks like a lot it’s because I double the recipe. Â (It’s always better the next day because the flavors really mesh. Â So I like to make sure we’ve got a few days worth prepared.) Meanwhile chop the bell pepper and the onion
(I hate chopping onions and I don’t like big chunks of onion in anything so I cheat and use the Cuisinart Food Processor)
When about half the beef is browned add peppers, onion, and minced garlic and continue to cook until all the beef is browned, then drain.
My mom always cooked this recipe in a soup pot on the stovetop. Â In recent years I have found that a slow cooker works just as well…if not better. Â So, next transfer the drained beef and veggie mixture to a slow cooker or soup pot, whichever you have or prefer.
Next up are the canned ingredients
(I have dreams of going all Martha, starting a community garden and eventually using my own canned tomatoes for this, but for now TJ’s will do.) First the diced tomatoes
Then the tomato sauce
Then the beans
My mom’s recipe calls for kidney beans, but I am just not a fan of those. Â I much prefer black beans so I substitute those. Â (I also think that the contrast of the black against the red of the chili base looks prettier. Â So it’s really a win-win.)
Next up are the spices
the water (remember, I’m doubling the recipe.)
and the tomato paste.
Then give it a good stir, cover it, and let it cook. Â If you are using a slow cooker, put it on the low heat setting. Â If you are cooking it on the stovetop, then simmer. Â Either way it needs to cook for a couple hours, stirring occasionally, so that all the flavors meld together. Â You’ll know it’s ready when it smells fantastic and all the ingredients look homogenized rather than separated in the pot…like this
To serve it you’ll need corn chips and cheese. Â I realize that the addition of corn chips is a little “low brow,” but, trust me, it’s worth it.
Cover the bottom of your bowl with the chips, top with a couple ladles of chili, then sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Â Personally, I like a few corn chips on the side for added crunch.
Of course you’ll also need a good brew to rinse it down. Â I sent the Beer Guy on a beer run and he came back with this deliciousness – Rogue Chipotle Ale.
Many of our favorite beers are from the Rogue Brewing Company and this one has just been added to the list. Â I must say, it’s smoky flavor, crisp mouth feel, and slightly heated finish were the perfect accompaniment to the Chili Dinner and the Chilly Weather.
Go ahead make this dinner for yourself and look for this great beer in your area. Â Here’s the full recipe
My Momma’s Chili
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne red pepper (or more for spicier chili)
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 c water
- 1 small can tomato paste
Brown meat, onion, pepper, and garlic in a skillet. Â Drain. Â Add all ingredients into a soup pot or slow cooker one at a time. Â Mix well. Â Bring to a medium boil. Stir often. Â Turn down to low heat. Â Simmer. Â Cook until all tastes have blended together. Â This can simmer all day, just make sure that it is not too fast or too high or it will scorch. Â Add salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy the warm chili in your tummy while the weather is chilly outside!