First, let me tell you that I don't cook. I can, but I don't like to. But since I'm forced to do it every once in a while, I have learned to make a few good dishes. My beef stew is good on a winter day, and the chef at work taught me how to make the best gravy ever. But it's my chili that is requested by friends when we have a pitch-in.
Last weekend I made the first pot of the season. I'm not proprietary about it, and I love it when someone shares a good recipe with me. So here's my bodacious chili recipe. Not gourmet or difficult, this recipe serves at least four.
1½ lbs. ground round
1 16 oz. can finely diced tomatoes (no spices)
1 16 oz. can light red kidney beans
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 medium sweet onion, diced (1 cup)
½ green pepper, diced
3/8 cup Worcestershire Sauce (6 Tb.)
2 Tb. chili powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
grated mild cheddar cheese
12” saute pan
large soup pot with lid
On medium heat, sauté onion and green pepper in butter until onions are transparent and lightly browned. Turn heat to medium low and add crushed garlic; sauté mix for one minute, constantly stirring so that garlic is NOT browned (and thus turned bitter). Toss in large pot.
Put tomatoes, beans and tomato paste in the same pot and add at least one tomato can of water. Stir and set heat on low.
Brown ground beef and drain if excessive liquid forms. Toss meat in Worcestershire Sauce and then chili powder over heat. Add to pot, stir, and cover. Simmer for one hour or more on very low heat, stirring every so often. Add water as needed.
Festivize with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chilies, hot sauce, corn chips.
Serves four to five. Double recipe serves eight to ten and fits into large crockpot. (Warning: do not rely on a crockpot to simmer this dish properly. It must be simmered on a stove first. Trust me.) Since this is cooking and not baking, the amounts are "to taste." Play with it and make it your recipe.