HELP! IT IS FREEZING OUTSIDE. I’m talking head-splitting, breath-shortening cold. The kind where no matter how many fuzzy socks you wear, it feels like a knife is being repeatedly stabbed into your toes. Gotta love January! There is only one response to this type of weather. Stay inside, binge on Netflix and and cozy up with a bowl of this Classic Beef and Bean Chili.
As previously mentioned, my grandmother Mary Jo could make three things well: Strawberry Cake, Blonde Brownies and chili. Having already shared the other two recipes, this post for her delicious Classic Beef and Bean Chili finishes out the triumvirate. And like the other two, this recipe does not disappoint.
Let me begin with a disclaimer: there ain’t nothin’ fancy ’bout this chili. It is tried and true, the chili of the people. Meat, beans, tomatoes, this recipe is as American as the 4th of July itself. If you’re looking for a chili with unique ingredients, interesting spices or complex flavors, look elsewhere. You won’t find any cocoa powder, ancho chiles or fish sauce here. If you’re looking for a dependable recipe for an American classic, please proceed.
The secret to the *amazingness* of this chili is all in how you cook the meat. After the initial browning, you cook down the ground beef with diced onions for another hour on low heat. Yep, a full 60 minutes. While it may seem like a long time, this process really brings out the flavor of both the meat and onions and gives them a super soft, silky texture. Also, I love how this recipe tells you to drain out the fat and grease with a colander and paper towel. This prevents that icky oily layer that no one likes from forming at the top of the chili. Cause let’s face it…4 pound of ground beef produces a disgusting amount of grease.
You can prepare this chili in one pot,
Did I mention this is a one-pot meal that also freezes well? God, I hate myself for being someone who is excited by these terms. I just have to accept that I’m a full-on adult now who gets giddy over the thought of frozen hunks of meat and beans. AARP, here I come.
- 4 pounds ground beef
- 2 onions, diced
- 3 pods garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper (to taste, I use approx. 1 teaspoon of each)
- 3 large cans tomatoes (I usually use 2 crushed and 1 diced)
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 6 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- Hot sauce (I prefer Cholula)
- 3 cans kidney beans, drained (I like to use a combo of dark and light beans)
- In large, heavy pot (I use a Dutch oven), brown meat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover with lid and cook for one hour on medium low heat.
- When meat is finished cooking, pour in a colander and press out grease with paper towels.
- In pot used to brown meat, mix together tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and hot sauce (start with a few dashes and add more later according to taste.) Add in drained meat.
- Cook covered on medium low heat for two hours.
- Add in beans, and cook for another 30-45 minutes.
- Serve with toppings such as sour cream, cheese, green onions, cilantro and more hot sauce. Enjoy!