Monday, January 31, 2011

Ultimate Game Day Chili

Sometimes a big pot of simmering chili just sounds good (especially when it's 30 degrees out and snowing here. Brrrrr!). I made this chili recipe last week and had my parents and my parents-in-law over for dinner (Both my husband and I lucked out and got fabulous in-laws that we enjoy hanging out with. Rare I think.). 

This chili recipe is basic, but comforting and sooo delicious! It has great flavor and spice and everyone that tried it loved it and had seconds. Just for fun, I decided to make corn bread and crumble it for the top of the chili and that turned out really well. It was a great topping!  
I doctored a standard box of corn bread mix with diced jalapenos, Parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper and frozen corn. Once the corn bread was baked and cooled I coarsely crumbled it and placed it in a bowl uncovered to dry out a little. The corn bread crumbles were slightly sweet and spicy and made for a tasty addition to the chili. I also served sour cream, chives and shredded Monterey cheese on the side. It doesn't get much better than that!

Another good idea for the corn bread would be to bake it in mini muffin tins and serve them on the side. For super bowl, you could place the mini muffins in a basket or bowl and set them next to the chili!

Ultimate Game Day Chili
serves 4 (can be doubled)
inpired by bush's beans
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds coarsely ground chuck*
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups tomato sauce
2 cups water (could sub. some beer for this)
2 cans (16 ounces) red kidney beans, drained 
Tabasco sauce
Shredded cheese

In heavy saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until warm. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Add beef and salt. Cook until beef is browned throughout. Drain excess fat. Add chili, cumin, Worcestershire, tomato sauce, sugar and water. Bring pot to low boil and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red kidney beans and simmer 15 minutes. Add Tabasco sauce to taste, and more salt if desired.

* I asked the butcher at my local grocery store for 2 pounds of coarsely ground chuck instead of getting a 2 lb pack of chuck (which has a lot of fat making up the two pounds) from the meat section. If the butcher grinds it from meat they have on hand, you get a full two pounds of meat with less waste and fat.

** I added one chopped green pepper and substituted chopped tomatoes for some of the tomato sauce to give the chili more texture.

*** I prepared the chili up to the point before the beans went in and then poured the chili into a crock pot and simmered it on low for 4 hours. I added the green peppers and beans about a half hour or so before serving.

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