Introduction: Ratfink Chili
This is a chili recipe my boyfriend and I came up with - it's nice and spicy without being overwhelming thanks to the additional of a whole habanero, and has a nice veggies/beans to meat ratio. It's also perfect for chili dogs! Lots of chili powder gives it a beautiful color and makes it tasty tasty.
It's also better the next day - so it's a great recipe to make ahead and reheat!
Step 1: Ingredients!
- one 14 oz can crushed tomatoes OR tomato sauce (try for a low sodium or no sodium variety)
- two 14 oz cans chili beans
- one pound of ground beef (ground turkey also works, as does faux ground beef for you veggies!)
- half a beer - roughly one cup - choose a beer you enjoy!
- two onions, any color
- one bell pepper - red, orange, or yellow - sweeter is better.
- three cloves of garlic
- three tablespoons chili powder
- one habanero pepper - or, if you're scared of that, a chopped fresh jalapeno!
- salt and pepper to taste
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- fritos (Tyler eats it this way all the time!)
- pickled jalapenos
- chopped onion
- medium pot with lid, preferably heavy bottomed
- cutting board
Step 2: Cut Up Your Veggies!
I diced the pepper and onions, and minced the garlic.
Cut the pepper and onions to a size that you like - if you don't want big chunks, cut them smaller! It's all personal preference here.
Step 3: Brown the Ground Beef!
Cook it over medium heat, stirring from time to time to break up the big clumps. Once cooked, drain off a good bit of the fat.
You'll want to leave enough fat to cook the veggies with, though, so make sure there's a tablespoon or two left!
Step 4: Dump in the Veggies!
Put your onions and pepper into the pot and cook over medium heat until the onions start to become translucent and the peppers soften a bit. They will also begin to shrink in size, allowing you to put more stuff in your pot!
A good pinch of salt during this part of the cooking process will help the veggies let go of excess moisture and allow you to scrape the bottom of the pot.
Step 5: Add Garlic and Chili Powder!
Dump the garlic and chili powder into the pot, and stir it all up. Let it cook for a couple minutes until the chili powder and garlic get very fragrant.
Step 6: Add the Beans, Tomato Sauce and Beer!
Dump all these in and stir it up. At this point, it's good to size up how thick or thin you want the chili to be. If it's too thick for your tastes at this point, it's fine to add up to a cup of water.
Step 7: The Secret Ingredient - Habanero!
Pierce a whole habanero with a knife and plop it into the pot.
This way you're not contaminating your hands with danger by cutting it up, but you're still getting a nice bit of heat as it simmers in the chili.
Step 8: Final Cooking!
Bring the chili up to a boil for five minutes or so, and then bring it down a simmer.
The minimum amount of time to let it simmer is 30 minutes. If I can, I'll often simmer it for at least an hour, checking it a couple times during cooking by stirring and taste testing.
At this final stage you can add salt and pepper, and even more chili powder if you like.
Step 9: Serve!
My personal favorite is pictured, but fritos or crackers also make excellent additions. Or serve over buttered pasta! It's also awesome served over a hot dog with cheese and onions. I won't lie, I had a chili dog for breakfast/lunch today.
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