I'm going to go out on a limb and say it--I'm not a real chili lover. Don't hate me for it! My husband, on the other hand, LOVES it and has been dropping hints for weeks, trying to convince me with helpful suggestions like, "it would be a timely addition to the blog"-- 'cause, you know, he's only looking out for me, there's absolutely no self interest going on! Anyway, a few days ago, I broke down and made a batch of this chili and there is now once again, marital harmony in the house and I kinda, sorta actually liked it this time. Maybe I'm finally growing up...
I know there are tons of different recipes for chili out there, some with meat and no beans, some with beans and no meat, some with chicken, or turkey, some with a white sauce...I could go on and on, but this recipe is a simple classic one with a perfect meat/bean ratio and just the right amount of spice. Just for fun, I used three different kind of beans--dark and light kidney beans and pinto beans too!
This chili comes together very easily in about 15 minutes and then just cooks for several hours, needing nothing more than a little stirring every now and then. I made a batch of The Best Cornbread to go along with it
It's also great served with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top--
Or a little dollop of sour cream--
Though it may not be my favorite dish, I will say that it really chases away those winter chills and has made one special man feel very warmly towards me!
Serves 6-8 as a main course
1 lb ground beef
32 oz. can crushed tomatoes (use a 28 oz and another small one if you can't find this size)
2 16-oz cans kidney beans
1 16-oz can pinto beans
1 large onion, diced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 1/2 -2 tablespoons chili powder
shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions etc for garnish (optional)
1. In a large pot over medium heat, brown the meat, chopping up the clumps as it cooks. Drain all the fat and return the meat to the pot. Add the tomatoes, both beans, onion, and spices and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 3 hours until beans and onion are tender and everything has cooked down.
2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. The chili heats up well in the microwave and keeps at least 5 days, in an airtight container, chilled.