I Won a Chili Cook Off…Kinda

Ok, I tied with my co-worker. He made a delicious white chicken chili and I made one with ground beef. The weather is cooling off so now is the time to start making some comfort food! So, here’s the deal with my cooking. I love to cook and consider myself pretty decent. Not like my best friend who cooks a feast for her husband that rivals a 5-star restaurant…on a random Tuesday. Sometimes I think I’m fancy too and toss in things that sound good at the moment. I never 100% follow a recipe because of this this innate desire I have to make it mine. My Dad is the same way, we do a little of this a little of that and there’s no measuring. Ever. You just eyeball it. So this should be easy to follow, right!?

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One of my most favorite things to cook is chili. I don’t like thick pasty chili but I don’t want soup either. It has to have the right consistency to be perfect. How do you do that when you don’t measure? Well, you work with it over time but I (mostly) have this down because it’s usually a big hit. So take a page from my book because…. well, it’s just chili. I encourage you to play with my recipe and make it your own because that’s what makes cooking fun!

Lean Beef

I buy good meat, never the cheaper stuff because I am weird about meat and texture. My mom is too and made up the word “conorples” (Con-or-pulls). I thought it was actually a real word until I was in high school. She said that a conorpole is when you’re eating meat (generally beef) and bite into something weird that shouldn’t be there. Bone? Gristle? I don’t know! But she swears cheap meat has them.  I can’t even eat meat on a bone. If I see a vein in chicken? I AM DONE.

Onion and Peppers

Moving on, hope you didn’t lose your appetite. I buy quality ground beef and I cook it fresh, not frozen. Finely chop the onions, cut long slivers of green bell pepper and sauté it with the ground beef with good squeeze of garlic.  I always cut the bell pepper into strips (similar to fajitas) because my husband isn’t a fan and can easily dodge them (also because it looks pretty). Drain any grease you may have. While the meat is cooking, pour your 2 cans of chili-ready diced tomatoes (with juice) and 2 cans of beans. I like the Bush’s mixed kidney and pinto beans. Then toss in an entire uncut pepperoncini and one fat jalapeno. I love SPICY chili. My husband does not (wimp). I swear it adds flavor, not spice. I have no proof of either 🙂 .

Chili Simmering With Pepper

While it’s still simmering in the skillet, I put in a packet of taco seasoning and a few dashes of worcheshire sauce after the meat is fully cooked and drained. Yep, a packet. I am not talented enough to know the precise amount of cumin and paprika. LOL but taco seasoning gives the meat some independent flavor and who hates taco meat?! Now come on, it can’t be just meat, beans and tomatoes. BORING. Pour in a bunch of chili powder. Yep, just start doing it and then taste test it. Ask your spouse/friend/roommate what they think. I add salt, pepper, steak seasoning…whatever I have on hand that I’m convinced may do the job. Nothing too crazy though…don’t get weird. 😊

Great Chili in Bowl

Crackers for Chili

Cooking Chili

It’s pretty too. Instagrammable. I like to cook chili with angel hair pasta separate. My husband likes a particular noodle to chili ratio. Sometimes I like just chili with crackers and other times I like chili over my noodles but always, always have shredded cheese!

Chili With Shredded Cheese

My Dad likes to simmer his chili for hours and he is right, the longer it cooks the better it tastes. That is why I think chili is great for Sunday night dinner…when you make it around lunch time and let it simmer all day.

Beef and Peppers Chili

Look, cooking should be fun. Making chili is easy and feeds a lot of people. I know this recipe sounds bizarre and it probably is but people like it! Somehow the taco seasoning and squeeze of BBQ sauce compliment both the beans and tomatoes. You can modify it as you cook with eager taste testers. Chili is also great on baked potatoes and hot dogs! Please let me know in the comments if you try this chili and what you think!?

Chili Ingredients

Chili and Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 2 cans of chili-ready diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of Bush’s mixed kidney/pinto beans
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • Chili seasoning
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 pepperoncini
  • 1 jalapeno
  • Garlic
  • 1 onion
  • BBQ sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crackers
  • Angel hair pasta

Detailed Directions:

FIRST:

Finely chop the onions and cut bell pepper into slivers

Sautee it with the ground beef and minced garlic

Drain the grease

Pour in the packet of taco seasoning (note: it will look dry) and mix well

MEANWHILE (while that’s cooking):

Get out a large stock pot

Pour in tomatoes & beans

Just a dollop of BBQ sauce and more garlic

Stir together

NEXT:

Pour your ground beef/onions/bell peppers into the stock pot w/ the tomatoes and beans

*It will look thick. Pour either beer or beef stock in it to your preference

Douse it with chili powder, salt, pepper….etc.

Put a lid on it and simmer on low (note: the condensation will create more liquid so keep your beer/beef stock on reserve and use as needed)

Simmer/stir and taste test frequently

FINALLY (and optional):

Cook the angel hair pasta about 20 minutes before serving

WHEN READY TO SERVE:

A portion of noodles

A heaping serving spoon of chili

Top with shredded cheese

Diced onions and/or jalapenos

Side of crackers

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