Bill’s Chili

In: What's Cookin'?

Very few positive things came out of our year in Alabama, but our interactions with our neighbor Bill was one of them. He and his wife were in their 60’s, Auburn fans, and very kind to my youngest son, Faisal who sometimes found himself in a bit of a situation that Bill was more than happy to help him out of. Like when he’d “caught” a turtle with a fish hook which required doctoring to remove.

IMAG1219When our year was up and we were moving to Tennessee, they brought us over a dinner of ribs and chili as we packed our last box. It was a much needed and appreciated act of hospitality and kindness. Bill happily shared the recipe with me and it has become the chili standard in my house…with a little somethin’ somethin’ added each time to mix it up. And this most recent batch included harbanaro chilies and cocoa. Some fire tempered with a little sweetness. Kind of like me! So start with the base and make it your own.

3 lbs ground chuck (I sometimes use buffalo meat.)
4 c. chopped onion
12 cloves minced garlic
1 lg bell pepper, chopped
4 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp flour
4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground Cumin
1 tbsp ground Coriander
1 tbsp ground Oregano
2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 cans (16 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can diced chili peppers
2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce *
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
3-4 cans chili beans

*I deglaze the pan after sauteeing all of the meat and vegetables and use that liquid. Otherwise, add another can of tomato sauce.

Brown meat in a large skillet. Drain the fat. Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic until tender and then put together in a large pot (7 quarts fits perfectly). Combine spices and dry ingredients, mixing well before adding to the pot. Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, paste, and chilies. Mix well and then reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour. (I put my Harbanaros and chocolate in at this point.) Add drained beans and simmer another 30 minutes. Make sure and stir often so it doesn’t scorch.

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