Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Damn Good -n- Easy Chili

Damn Good -n- Easy Chili - Serves many
From: anyrose

Since chili is a subjective thing, the quantites are up to the individual, but this is how I make it. Also I only know how to make large quantities of the stuff, since I usually only make it as party fare, but it also freezes well and goes great over pasta or rice

You'll need

Two large cans of crushed tomatoes
1 jar of chunky salsa (heat level of your choice)
1 small can tomato paste
roughly 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced (I use two teaspoons of the pre-crushed garlic in a jar)
4 cans of beans (your choice of color and type - I use a different combination each time I make it), drained and rinsed.
2 pounds of ground beef (but you could use a combination of beef, pork, lamb, and/or turkey).
1 pound stew beef, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon of each of your choice of dried herbs (I rely on oregano and parsley but have been known to experiment)
red pepper flakes (a 1/4 teaspoon will do, but feel free to add more)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
2 stalks of celery & 2 carrots, finely diced
2 portobello mushroom caps, cubed
salt & pepper to taste

Start with the crushed tomatoes in a large, non reactive (8 or 10 quart) stock pot on medium heat. Add the salsa, the dried herbs, the tomato paste, and the red pepper flakes, stirring regularly but not constantly.

When this starts to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and allow it to simmer while, in a non stick skillet, you brown the ground beef (or meat combination), crumbled into bite sized pieces. If your skillet isn't that big, work in batches. Drain the browned meat and add to the tomato mixture. Stir.

Add the drained beans, the chopped veggies, the garlic, the onion pwder and the pepper flakes. Stir as you turn the heat up enough for it to resume a quiet simmer, then lower the heat back down.

Now brown the cubed stew beef, and when it's done, drain it and add it to the chili. Let the whole shebang simmer another half hour on low, stirring occassionally, and give it a taste. It probably won't need any salt or pepper, but that's up to you.

Regularly stirring over low to medium low heat will help tp prevent the tomatoes from burning on the bottom of the pot. Give it a good 2 or 3 hours for all the flavors to marry.

Serve with tortilla chips, chopped onion, shreadded cheese, sour cream, guacamolé, whatever your fancy, and enjoy.

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