The wonderful thing about making chili is that you can own it! You can really make it what you want it to be, so much so that mine is never the exact same twice!
Anyway, it's time to go to the grocery store!
What I use:
1lb Ground Beef (I like 93% lean. It's affordable, and it's lean enough that you don't pour half your money down the drain.)
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper
2 to 4 Tomatoes (I prefer the vine ripe kind)
3 to 4 Garlic Cloves
1 Jalapeno Pepper
2 large cans of Tomato Sauce
2 to 3 types of Canned Beans ( Today I used Black, Dark Red Kidney, and Pinto. Notice that none of them say Chili Beans... If I wanted someone else's idea of chili seasoning I'd eat canned chili.)
Chili Powder (I use regular and hot chili powders to help adjust the heat level. I like to taste my chili not melt my face.)
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Step 1: Simmer Down Now!
You'll notice that for this instructable I'm using a large stock pot on the stove. You can use a stock pot if you need to make this a quick meal, however, I much prefer to put it in a Croc-Pot and let it simmer all day. Doing so lets the flavors dance around and get comfortable with each other.
Any who, back to cooking!
Pour the 2 large cans of tomato sauce into the pot and apply the heat. On the stove I like a medium heat, in the Croc I like to cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2.
Once the sauce is in the pot and the heat has been applied open the cans of beans and pour them into a strainer. Rinse the beans with cold water. This will get most of the gravy and juices off of them so that your chili isn't too soupy. Once they have drained, add them to the sauce in the pot.
Step 2: Tommy's Toes
So the beans are clean and and swimming around all happy in a warm tomato bath...
Lets add some fresh veggies! Just because the entire meal isn't made from scratch doesn't mean we can't get our hands a little dirty and still produce something that's homemade!
Pull out the cutting board and a sharp knife.
Rinse your tomatoes and remove both ends.
Now this part is not for the faint of heart!
Move to the sink, or over the trash can, and using your finger remove seeds from the tomatoes. This will keep them from thinning out the chili. If you don't get all of them it's not the end of the world!
Now take the tomatoes back to the cutting board and dice them up! You can cut them into a fine mush or into big chunks. This is your chili make it what you want it to be!
Once you've got the tomatoes diced add them to the pot with the sauce and beans!
Step 3: A Bell So Beautiful Your Eyes Will Water!
They call them bell peppers for a reason but we don't want the clapper in the chili!
So remove the top and bottom of the pepper and pull the seeds out, then dice the peppers up. Just like the tomatoes you can dice these as large or small as you'd like! Either way once they are diced add the peppers to the pot!
Now take a minute and compose yourself 'cause this next part will make you cry.
Break out that onion and make with the chopping. I use about 1/2 and onion in my chili but, you're never gonna believe this, you can use as little or as much as you want! Chili is all made to taste!
Once the onion is diced and the tears have been wiped away, add them (the onion) to the pot!
Note: At this point my chili was a little thick so I added another small can of sauce.
Step 4: Meat-ing Time
So lets start this section with a short lesson on how to use non-stick cooking sprays. Most folks spray the skillet, set it on the stove then apply heat. Those folks are only getting a fraction of the use out of their cooking sprays. If you want to ensure noting sticks and that the pan is easy to clean follow these simple steps.
- Heat the pan to temperature. (Get the pan close to the temperature you want to cook with)
- Remove the pan from the heat (ignition source) and spray the pan with the non-stick spray
- Place the pan back on the heat
- Begin cooking
If done correctly the spray will produce a very small amount of white smoke when it hits the pan. You'll notice that nothing sticks and that the pan is super easy to clean.
Ok back to the chili...
You're pan is ready so it's time to brown the ground beef.
Add the beef to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper and brown it up until you don't see and more raw bits.
after the beef is done you can add it directly to the pot with the sauce, beans, bell peppers, and onion.
If the beef appears a little greasy pour it into a strainer and let it drain for a few then add it to the pot!
Step 5: Heat It Up!
So a word of warning here for those that haven't worked with hot peppers before. After handling the peppers you can burn your eyes, mouth, nose, etc. So be careful what you scratch!
Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and dice it up.
You can adjust the heat by adding as much or as little of this spicy little guy as you want.
Step 6: Beer, It's What's for Dinner!
So you've made it this far now it's time to throw some depth into the pot by adding 1/2 of any beer you choose.
I suggest you stray away from fruit beers and stouts. Honestly I prefer Budweiser or Yuengling.
Step 7: Like Christoper Walken, I to Have a Fever...
And the only cure for that fever is more garlic! I mean come on, everything needs garlic!
As you can see from the pictures I use 3 to 4 cloves in a garlic press. If you don't have a garlic press you can lay a large knife on it's side (second picture) and then give it a heft smack, crushing the clove (picture three). Once you've crushed the clove peeling the garlic and mincing it is a breeze!
Step 8: A Dash of This, a Pinch of That!
Seasonings... Oh the seasonings! So many choices!
Start with a little salt (to taste), then add some black pepper, again to taste.
Next add some parsley flakes (mostly for color), some red pepper (if you have it) and then a dash or two of southwest seasoning (again don't go out and buy this I like it but you will barely notice it).
Finally it's time to make our sauce into chili. Add chili powder (I use 1/2 regular and 1/2 hot) to taste. I personally cover the top of the pot with a thin layer.
Step 9: People Get Up! Come on Get Down With a Thickness!
If you're in a hurry and you don't have time to let the chili simmer and cook down you can sprinkle in a pinch or 2 of flour and stir. Within minutes the chili will thicken up nicely.
Step 10: Service!
Well that's about it. All that's left is to dish it up!
As you can see I like mine with cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and maybe a few crackers.