Our Chili Recipe

At work we recently had a Chili cook-off (no voting, just eating) and I had promised to share the recipe. Here it is:

  • #10 Can of tomatoes. This is the large "economy size".
  • #10 Can of Kidney beans. If you can't find that, 4 of the next largest cans works well.
  • 5 lbs of burger. Beef, turkey, sausage, whatever you can get cheap. I like half beef and turkey.
  • One each, Red, Yellow, and Green bell peppers (or more)
  • One (or two) Poblano peppers roasted (or not)
  • One Red Onion
  • 8 oz Chili powder (or more)
  • Garlic - Fresh or Powdered, to taste.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cumin, Smoked Paprika, or similar to taste.

The exact amounts aren't so important. This isn't rocket science and you can adjust the proportions to taste and according to what you have on hand.

Toss the tomatoes in a large stock pot and squish them with your hands. Some people like to use a spoon or potato masher to break them up but I find it great fun to squish between my fingers. Sitr in the beans and and powdered spices. Leave on low heat, stir occasionally.

Brown the burger in a couple of large frying pans. Salt and pepper to taste. While the meat is cooking, chop up the veggies (don't forget to stir the meat). When the meat is done, drain it and add to the stock pot.

Throw the veggies into the frying pan(s) and soften them up a little. You can use the hamburger grease, or discard it and use olive oil, they both taste good. I prefer to saute the onions first til they are clear, then add the peppers for a few minutes. Don't cook them too much or they will turn to mush. Add all the veggies to the stock pot and stir well.

Simmer the chili on low heat for an hour, then add salt and pepper to taste. If you want to spice it up a lot, take the meat of a habiñero pepper (just the meat, not any seeds) and puree it with a cup of the chili juice.

Let the whole mess cook on low (just barely bubbling) for a few hours. Stir occasionally. If some sticks to the bottom of the pan leave it there. Scraping it up could add a burnt flavor to the chili that isn't good. Serve when you can't resist the smell anymore. Chili gets better with age and it's at it's peak about 3-4 days later after it's been reheated a few times.

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