Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

To Bean or Not To Bean?

on February 28, 2014

Happy National Chili Day!!

I don’t “Bean”, but it’s fine if you do (because I’m feeling magnanimous and non-judgmental today -probably because it’s also Friday).

I’m not going to even try and pretend that I’m an expert, but this is my go-to recipe for chili, and it’s a pretty lowbrow version. I don’t chop the onions or the garlic or the tomatoes or the chilies. Everything comes from a can or the freezer. I don’t use a special grind of meat. As I said – lowbrow, and yet I get lots of demands for the recipe. The chili is thick, not too spicy (although you can certainly heat it up) and is great on it’s own or slathered over a hotdog or burger or French fries; also you can make corn chip (you know what I’m talking about) pie and win extra prizes.

I know a lot people make their chili in a slow cooker, but I don’t. It always comes out too liquidy instead of thick and then I get annoyed at having to brown the meat and cook the onions in one pot and then transfer it all to the crockpot (blah, blah, blah…). Instead, I use an incredibly awesome “everything pot” (it’s really a Presto Multi Cooker). This was given to me many years ago as a Christmas present from the H’s grandmother and I have used it for more things! It’s electric, so doesn’t throw off too much heat (a plus in the summer down here in Chucktown); you can control the temp and can even deep fry (I don’t actually do much of that).

So, without further ado, I present “Maeve’s Sorta Like A Certain Fast Food Restaurant Which Shall Remain Nameless’ Chili but Without the Beans and Much Tastier

2 lb. ground beef (and not the really expensive kind either)
1 bag frozen diced onion (or about 2 cups chopped onion if you’re trying to improve your knife skills)
2 cans fire-roasted diced chilies (um, I suppose you could roast your own and then peel and chop a couple Anaheim chilies, but really….)
2 15oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (see note about the chilies)
1 29oz can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt

Brown the ground beef in a large dutch oven (if you’ve bought very lean meat, then you may need to add some olive oil); drain all the fat (I dump it into a large colander and let it rest there for a minute or two. Return the meat to the dutch oven and add the onion, chilies and diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all the spices in a small bowl.

Add the tomato sauce to the meat mixture, then add the spices and stir well. Finally add the water.

Cover and cook over low heat at least 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I generally cook this for a lot longer – say 3-4 hours. My “everything pot” allows me to regulate the temperature so I can sort of approximate the slow cooker. If you do want to cook yours all day long but can’t be there to occasionally stir and adjust the temperature to avoid burning, then definitely use the slow cooker.

That’s all there is. You “can” add some beans if beanless chili offends you, but otherwise, it’s ready for some diced onion and shredded cheese and those darn corn chips (and French fries – oh yum!).

(NOTE – I have noticed in recent times that 15oz cans are rather hard to come by.  Instead you can buy 14.5oz cans for slightly more than the 15oz cans were.  I think food people have some idea that we’re idiots and can’t do simple math or something and therefore wouldn’t notice (seriously, have you seen what the Breyer’s Ice Cream people have been doing?  You used to buy a half-gallon but now they keep raising the price and reducing the content – pissed irritated me off so much I don’t buy it any more – and why should I when I can make my own damn ice cream?).  But I digress – the 14.5oz cans will work fine.)  Rant over.

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5 responses to “To Bean or Not To Bean?

  1. donalgraeme says:

    (NOTE – I have noticed in recent times that 15oz cans are rather hard to come by. Instead you can buy 14.5oz cans for slightly more than the 15oz cans were. I think food people have some idea that we’re idiots and can’t do simple math or something and therefore wouldn’t notice (seriously, have you seen what the Breyer’s Ice Cream people have been doing? You used to buy a half-gallon but now they keep raising the price and reducing the content – pissed irritated me off so much I don’t buy it any more – and why should I when I can make my own damn ice cream?). But I digress – the 14.5oz cans will work fine.) Rant over.

    This has been going on for years, and has also been ticking me off as well. I suspect that it isn’t so much that they think we are stupid (although that’s part of it), but that they think we won’t have a choice. Unfortunately for them, we do.

    Oh, and that chilli looks pretty good. Honestly, I don’t get why people are so up in arms over beans v. no beans. Tss all about the taste, right?

    • Maeve says:

      Hi Donal – it makes me crazy too. I’m a little taken back by the can thing because I really hadn’t noticed that until lately – sent Angharad to the store to get stuff for the chili and she called with with “no 15oz cans…” Just annoyed me to no end.

      Regarding the chili – I’ve learned that one needs to approach any discussion very delicately. Folks get very funny about their chili LOL.

      • donalgraeme says:

        sent Angharad to the store to get stuff for the chili and she called with with “no 15oz cans…”

        Hah! When I was visiting my parents over Christmas my mom sent me to the store to buy some cans for a chili recipe she makes… and I had to call her because the size she was looking for didn’t exist! Something tells me that there are frustrated adult children all over the country who have been making that discovery as of late.

      • Maeve says:

        That’s so funny! Wait until summer comes and your mom send you out for a half-gallon of ice cream! LOL

      • donalgraeme says:

        Oh, we figured that one out long ago… =(

        Heh, I said “adult children.” Funny how that makes sense, when it actually doesn’t.

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