Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mom's Chili

As I get ready to go back to school next week, I'm filling up on all of my favorite foods from home. Tonight's dinner was my mom's homemade spaghetti, and later this week I'll have some fantastic grilled pork chops and my brother's homemade hamburgers. With all the chaos of getting my brother ready to go to college for the first time, though, it turns out there aren't enough dinnertimes remaining for all our favorites. Luckily for me, my mom will be making a huge batch of her chili, freezing it, and sending me back to school with a supply. Yum.

Once the meat is browned and the chili powder is mixed in, you can easily finish off this recipe in a slow cooker.

This recipe is an original; my mom created it by combining all the best aspects of her sister's recipe with the recipes from church chili suppers. It's been a family staple for years, even surviving my vegetarian phase (substitute the meat with BOCA ground crumbles or a similar product; my brother never even noticed). I like it with ditalini noodles and shredded cheddar on top. My brother likes it plain with saltines. It's tasty on a baked potato, and I'm planning to try some on a cornmeal-crust pizza sometime this fall. Go crazy.

Ditalini. Chili. Shredded cheddar. Mmm.

Mom's Chili

2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef or turkey
4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 beef bullion cube
2 6-ounce cans tomato juice
1 drop Tabasco
1 1-lb can red beans
1 1-lb can tomatoes

Brown the beef, onion, and garlic in the oil in a large stock pot. Drain excess fat. Stir in the chili powder and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients, stirring to blend. Cover and simmer the chili slowly for 2 to 3 hours, stirring often.
Note: You can also make this chili in a slow cooker. Brown the meat and add the chili powder on the stove, then transfer and add everything else to the slow cooker. Cook it on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

No comments: