Well the snow just keeps coming… and it’s March already. I hate to keep talking about the weather except this has been the coldest and most snowiest winter I’ve experienced. Last year, we had virtually no snow and a really warm, short winter (most unusual) and I think Mother Nature realized she had to make up for it. Oiy! Hmmm? What’s perfect for a cold day? The best chili ever!
I’m thinking about some comfort food and this chili is the best chili ever! I promise! I make chili during the fall for football game watching. I make chili during the cold, winter months for comfort. And I’ve made chili for Trilogy lunches at school. What is a Trilogy lunch, you ask? At our Girlie’s school, every other week one of the classrooms provides lunch for the teachers and staff. It’s a very small way for us to say thank you for their dedication to our kids! For the past few years, I’ve made chili as part of the luncheon offering and a few of the teachers have asked me for the recipe. And I’ve neglected to write it down and share… until today.
Now don’t be freaked out by the long list of ingredients! Don’t be freaked out! I’m the first one to bag a recipe with a 1,000,000 ingredients. Stay with me. It’s really an easy one pot recipe to get to the best chili ever. And somehow all the spices work together to make a delicious, spicy (but not crazy spicy) bowl of chili.
As you know, I always have some tricks and tips whenever I’m cooking’. So let’s talk about some of them now.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- You can increase or decrease the spiciness of the chili by adjusting the amount of chili powder, cayenne pepper and the can of chili beans with spicy sauce (mild, medium, hot).
- Whenever I’m frying bacon for breakfast or BLTs or whatever, I always fry up a few extra pieces. I crumble 4 slices and then freeze them, so when I’m making chili, I can just throw in the frozen, already fried and crumbled, bacon. Taadaa!
- I’ve used yellow and orange bell peppers, because that’s what I had in the refrigerator and they worked well too.
- This Best Chili Ever freezes really well. If you have any leftover (and I bet you won’t), freeze it for another day. Are you wondering about the best way to reheat the chili from the freezer? Throw it in the slow cooker on low for a few hours – or even longer. The longer is simmers, the better.
- To change things up, I’ve served this chili over a baked potato instead of macaroni – delicious!
THE BEST CHILI EVER
INGREDIENTS (Again don’t panic over the long list-they’re in your pantry.)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. bulk Italian sweet sausage
3 (15 oz.) cans chili beans, drain and rinse
1 (15 oz.) can chili beans with spicy sauce (medium)
4 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (or 2 – 28 oz. cans)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
4 cubes of beef bullion
1 bottle (12 fl. oz.) beer (I like dark beer, but regular works well too.)
¼ cup chili powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tsp ground cumin
2 Tsp Tabasco sauce
1 Tsp dried basil
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tsp paprika
1 Tsp white sugar
- In a large stock pot over medium high heat, brown the ground beef and sausage. When browned and crumbled, drain off the excess fat.
- Here’s the easy part. Dump all the rest of the ingredients into the same stock pot and stir to blend. Easy peasy.
- Cover the pot and simmer over LOW heat for at least 2 hours. Stir the pot occasionally.
- The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. After 2 hours, taste the chili and add more salt, pepper, chili powder, Tabasco, etc. – if you think it needs it. For me, it’s perfect – a little spice, a little heat, but not flaming hot spicy.
- The recipes calls for cooking this on the stove. I’ve also used my slow cooker and it works like a charm. After the ground beef and sausage are browned, crumbled and drained, throw everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. (If you’re looking for another easy slow cooker recipe, that freezes really well too, check out my slow cooker (spaghetti) and meat sauce.
- To serve, I have several things ready for family to add to their chili bowl:: cooked macaroni noodles, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, diced red onions, diced yellow onions, sour cream, Fritos and a Tabasco bottle (for those that want more heat).
Add a nice fresh roll and you’re all set to enjoy a bowl of the Best Chili Ever (at least my family thinks so)! I hope you do too.