Chili Season is Upon Us
It is officially my favorite time of year! Cool weather, crunchy leaves, cozy sweaters, and awesome food. One of my absolute favorite meals is chili and my mom's recipe is one of the very best I have ever had. For me, chili feels like home. It's one thing that mom makes several times every winter. It's one of the only foods I could describe as being cozy. That sounds silly, but it's so warm and has so many yummy ingredients in it, it just makes me feel cozy. Mom's recipe has evolved and gotten better over time. I would say at this point she could probably make it with her eyes closed. I've watched her make it countless times, but this time around she walked me through the steps.
The ingredients are pretty standard, but there are a couple that make it stand out:
1 or 2 lbs Ground Chuck
1 - Medium Onion
1 - 40 oz Can Brooks Mild Chili Beans
2 - 15 oz Cans Hunts Tomato Sauce
2 - 15 oz Cans of Water (use Hunts cans)
Chili Powder & Garlic Powder to Taste
1 - 8 oz Container Bloemer's Chili Base
Pasta of Your Choice (Optional)
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use the same pot for the whole thing, that means minimal cleanup! Start by sautéing your ground chuck and onions together until the beef is browned and the onion is translucent. While the mixture is cooking together, season with garlic powder and chili powder to taste. Once this is done, drain off the excess grease to prevent the whole batch from being greasy. Next, add both cans of tomato sauce. After adding the sauce, add two cans full of water to the pot. then add the entire 40 oz can of chili beans. We use mild beans in our chili, but feel free to use hot if you like spicier food. This next ingredient is what makes moms chili, moms chili; the entire container of Bloemer's Chili Base (note: the chili base linked is a much larger container than what is required). It's locally made right here in Kentucky and you can find it at Kroger. Stir everything together and add additional chili powder and garlic powder to taste. Finally, if you like noodles in your chili, add a cup or so of your favorite pasta. We usually use elbow noodles, but spaghetti or whatever kind you have works just as well.
Lower the heat and bring it to a simmer for about 30 minutes to really help all of the flavors marry together. This recipe should make a few days worth of chili depending on how many people you're feeding. We can usually have if for dinner a few nights a week before we run out. Another pro-tip for you: chili is ALWAYS better after it sits in the fridge for a day or two. Literally the best leftovers you'll ever have.