In our house growing up my dad would make two dishes in the kitchen: spaghetti and chili. His chili is wonderful and hard to beat. Even though as a child I removed each and every kidney bean from my bowl, I still loved every other bite of his chili. It tastes like home. I have tried many chili recipes and none have compared. Most of them end up watery and boring, no thanks! So I came up with my own recipe inspired by Robert Irvine's chili recipe.
I start by getting a small package of stewing beef and slicing it into tiny pieces, removing most of the fat. Unlike most chili recipes that use stewing beef, I prefer small pieces that mimic ground beef. This means that the cooking time is going to be long, it is true, but it is worth it!
Here are the only fresh produce components so there is not that much chopping involved. Chop up 1 onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and one finely chopped jalapeño. I do not want a ton of heat so I remove the seeds and the ribs.
Chili is king of the pantry! I love that if you have a well stocked pantry, chances are you can probably make a pot of chili. You need: 2 tsp of cumin, 1 tbsp of chili powder, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, 1 tbsp of hot sauce (I use wing sauce), 1 16 oz can of kidney beans (well rinsed) and 1 large (28 oz) can of tomatoes.
In about 3 tbsp of olive oil, heat up a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about five minutes. Then add jalapeño for a few minutes, followed by the garlic which you cook for just a minute. Then add the beef and cook until it is kind of browned.
Add hot sauce, tomatoes and kidney beans. Use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes. Season with some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer and cook for at least an hour and a half with no lid until it gets thick. Once thick, if you want to keep it warm on the stove just cover and keep warm at a low temperature.
This is my personal favourite way to eat chili, topped with a little sour cream and old cheddar, scooped up with lime tortilla chips. It may feel like summer where you are but here it is still quite dark and cold. This chili really hits the spot and tastes almost as good as my dad's. I even eat the kidney beans now, guess I have kind of grown up.
Chili is an easy dinner to make, the perfect place to start for the beginner cook and an easy meal for seasoned home cooks who just want to throw food in a pot, put it on the stove and forget about it. Low maintenance and tasty, no wonder chili is a classic dinner dish.