once upon a bowl of chili
like fuzzy slippers for your belly...

this is my ‘go to’ chili recipe and i’ve been pleasing palates with it for exactly 9 years now, since my nanny days in Fox Chapel, PA. i’ve tweaked it a dozen times, from switching out the beans to reworking the entire way it’s prepped. i used to cook the meat separately, and add it to the chili pot… which seems completely crazy now that i think back. i was missing out on all those yummy browned bits and oily beefy juices that seep from the cooked meat. if you use 85 (ground round) or leaner… grease will never be an issue the way i prep it. feel free to switch out the beans based on what you’re in the mood for. i usually go with dark red kidney beans and navy beans, and the end product ends up being red, white and green. For Steeler season i use black beans and chick peas and a yellow bell pepper. As long as you stick fairly close to the recipe ~ it will always be great.  It’s gourmet, without being overly fussy. It has a realistic 1 hour start to finish going for it.  My tots devour it served over brown rice, and for the grown ups… cornbread muffins and an ice cold beer round out the menu with simplistic perfection.

Ze ingredients

2 T olive oil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

large chopped onion

two cloves of minced fresh garlic

large bell pepper (u pick the color) -if  you love peppers, use two!

2 cans of beans- drained and rinsed

1- 28oz.  can tomato sauce

1- 28oz. can seasoned diced tomatoes

1 pound of lean ground beef

1 T chili powder

1 T ground cumin

1 t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

i usually do a shake or two of dried basil, garlic powder, and coriander as well. (totally optional)

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped parsley or cilantro to be stirred in at end (again optional, but truly brings this to life!)

OK- here’s what you do.

in a large pot, add olive oil. Heat over md/high heat. Add the red pepper flakes, and once you see them begin to sweat and move in the oil, time to add the onions and pepper. Do so. Stir. Saute for three minutes, and then add ground beef and garlic. Cook until browned and cooked through. Add all spices. stir to combine. saute another minute or so to bring out flavors in the dried herbs and spices. Add sauce and tomatoes. Add drained and rinsed beans. stir. cover and reduce heat to md/low. cook for 15 mins. remove lid at 15 mins and stir well once. cook 15 mins longer, leaving a gap in the lid. Prepare brown rice or elbow mac or whatever you like to serve your chili over. Stir in the fresh parsley or cilantro at the end. the chili is ready to eat at this point, but if your family is not… just leave it on the smallest simmer for a bit, and it will be fine.  Serve up a delicious bowl with a generous showering of  yellow or white cheddar cheese…  ohhh yeahhh…. it’s healthy comfort food at it’s best.