If you were to tell me that there is something better in the world than eating chili on a cold winter’s day, I’d call you crazy. Because there truly is nothing better than throwing together some chili, letting it cook and fill the house with an amazing aroma, and then eating it on the couch all wrapped up in a blanket (that’s how I eat my chili, anyways).
This is a recipe my mom passed down to me (with a couple tweaks made by me). It has a story attached to it.
When my family moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado in 1997, we had no idea that just a few months after we arrived we’d have front row seats to one of the worst blizzards seen in the area in recent memory. I was snowed in at a friend’s house for several days (we missed the Jars of Clay concert we were supposed to go to!), and I only arrived home after my dad and another dad came and dug us out of the house.
My sister and her friend were snowed in at my house – and all my mom had in the house was chili. So they ate this chili for several days (and my poor sister’s friend didn’t even like chili), and boy did I hear about it when I got home. So whenever I make this chili, I remember that blizzard.
Here’s how to make it.
Easy Beef Chili Recipe
- 1-1.5 lbs of ground beef, depending on how meaty you like your chili
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 14.5 ounces can of diced tomatoes
- 1 8 ounces can of tomato paste
- 2 15 ounces cans of tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp red pepper sauce
- 8-16 ounces water (or chicken broth), depending on how thick you like your chili
- 2 16 ounces cans of kidney beans
- Toppings: cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onion, avocado, etc
- Salt and pepper the ground beef.
- Cook the ground beef, onions, and green pepper in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until the meat is browned and the onions are tender.
- Drain the fat (if you’re using a Dutch oven, you can use some paper towels to soak up the fat).
- Take the skillet/Dutch oven off the hot burner, and add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, chili powder, red pepper sauce, and water (or chicken broth).
- Put the skillet/Dutch oven back on the burner and stir the mixture.
- Stir in the kidney beans (gently!).
- Bring the chili to a slow boil, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Cover the skillet/Dutch oven and simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Put the chili in bowls and top with the toppings of your choice.
Now grab a blanket, find a spot on the couch, and enjoy this cold weather meal.