January 23, 2014

In the Kitchen: Chili

As a child, I kind of despised chili. I'm really not sure why, because it involved ingredients I liked. Plus, you can top it with cheese and sour cream, and what kid doesn't like that? I'm glad I've grown out of that phase because my husband makes the best chili. Seriously, I dare you to say otherwise. On a cold winter night, a dutch oven filled with hot chili is exactly what I need. And since we will not be getting above freezing here in Virginia for the next few days, I am sure this giant pot of chili will go quickly.

Classic Chili

1/2 pound ground beef
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz beer
1 tablespoon worcestershire
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2-4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275. Place large dutch oven on stove over medium heat. Brown the ground beef until most of the pink is gone. Pile the beef on one side of the pan and add the onions. Cook the onions until they begin to get soft, then mix with the ground beef. Add the bell peppers and garlic. Cook until peppers start to get soft and onions are lightly browned. Add the mushrooms. Raise heat to medium-high. Add the spices. Pour in the beer to deglaze the pan. Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir to fully incorporate the mixture. Cook until the alcohol smell is gone. Add the tomatoes, beans, mustard, and worcestershire. Mix completely and bring to a boil. Taste for spiciness. Add more chili powder and cayenne until you reach you desired level of heat. Place in the oven for two hours with the lid on. After two hour, remove from the oven and stir thoroughly. Return to the oven without the lid and cook until it reaches the desired thickness.

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