Simple Beef Chili

Monday, November 17, 2008

I am on the hunt. For what?

The perfect beef chili. We have a recipe that we've been making for years, but I've decided recently that I'm not all that impressed with it. And so the search begins.

Last week, we decided to start this search with "Simple Beef Chili" from Cook's Illustrated. After trying it, we quickly came to the conclusion that we are still looking. So why am I sharing this recipe?

Well, because, quite frankly... it's good. It's just not the chili we're looking for.

But for you, it very well may be the "perfect" chili. There are so many varieties of chili, so many versions, and tastes in chili are so different. Maybe this is the recipe you've been looking for. Who knows unless you try it?

Maybe, like us, you're up for the journey. Follow us as we experiment a little bit this winter. Stay tuned... we'll be trying another chili recipe soon. Until then, give this one a shot and let me know what you think.

Simple Beef Chili
(Modified slightly from Cook's Illustrated)

- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil or corn oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 lbs. 90 percent lean ground beef
- 2 (15-ounce) cans red beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
- table salt
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef, breaking up pieces with spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, and just beginning to brown.

2. Transfer beef to crockpot. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic and spices. Stir well to combine. Cook on low setting for 5-6 hours. Adjust seasoning with additional salt if desired.

Serve over rice or noodles. Topping options: cheese, green onions, avocado, sour cream, etc.


Heather November 17, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

I am making chili tonight! How funny.

Here is my dad's "secret ingredient" to his beef chili. To cut down on the acidity from the tomato and to give it a more beefy flavor, make some beef gravy from one of those gravy packets. Then add that to the chili.

I don’t know how much chili you make in a pot so just add to taste if you want to try this “secret ingredient”.

Mrs.Po November 17, 2008 at 2:32 PM  

This is my current favorite chili recipe care of Wegman's grocery store. (I'm not sure you are in Wegman's country, but you can probably easily modify the recipe to un-wegman it). I love it being pretty quick and easy and it doesn't have to sit all day!

Heatherdm @ the knot,  November 17, 2008 at 3:24 PM  

I too am looking for a chilli recipe and made this exact recipe on Friday. I used turkey instead of beef, and sauteed the veggies first. I love it....good luck with your search!

Carisa November 17, 2008 at 3:27 PM  

We made chili a few weeks ago and it turned out AWESOME! We have been trying to "find" the right chili recipe for awhile also, only we just experiment more or less. I'll have to post it on my blog and if you like you could try that. It has a bit of a bite to it, but you can tone it down some. But just like you said, people have different tastes when it comes to "the best chili ever".

Sara November 21, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

The best chili we have ever made and the one i get tons of compliments on is below. I use beef rather than turkey though but make sure you follow all of the other indredients (the hot choc. and beer) otherwise it doesn't turn out well. Unless you don't like it spicy...when i make it for my parents I don't use the habenero I use a Jalepeno instead and also instead of the liquid smoke I use the chipotle tabasco sauce. I got it from a few years ago.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 small green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
2 pounds lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (1 ounce) envelope instant hot chocolate mix
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup cheap beer
1/2 cup canned whole kernel corn
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
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Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, green peppers and habanero pepper; cook and stir until the onion is transparent. Push these to one side of the pot, and crumble in the ground turkey. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is no longer pink. Stir everything together so the garlic doesn't burn.
Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper, hot cocoa mix and seasoned salt. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, diced tomatoes with green chilies, tomato sauce and kidney beans. Crack open a beer, and pour in about 1/3. Drink or discard the rest. Partially cover the pan, and simmer over medium heat for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix in the corn and hot pepper sauce, and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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