Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy like Sunday morning... chili

Though I enjoy cooking immensely, the time that I spend cooking on weeknights is decreasing as I get older.   There was a time when I would prepare elaborate meals most nights of the week.  I would head straight to the kitchen after work and spend hours making such meals as tamales from scratch or homemade pasta. 

I now appreciate the joy of less time consuming fare; it gives me time for other activities and keeps me from eating dinner too late at night.  Don’t get me wrong, I will still spend an entire Sunday in the kitchen with ridiculously lengthy recipes. It’s just not a nightly event.

I find chili to be an excellent way to use the large quantity of tougher cuts that come with purchasing a third of a cow.  I also love chili.  Thus, I have numerous chili recipes.  Some are complex, starting with dried and fresh chili peppers, while others are simple and mostly out of a can.  This chili recipe is an example of the latter.  It is one of those wonderful meals that is easy (and cheap) to make and is delightfully delicious, especially with the high quality beef.  (Did you think my first two paragraphs bordered on non-sequitur?  Now you see: this recipe doesn’t take very much effort.  I bring it all together.)

2 lbs beef chuck, cubed
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups water
1 beef boullion cube
1 40 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed
½ green bell pepper, diced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp habenero chili powder
1 tsp cumin

Heat a large dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.  Combine beef, onion, and 4 cloves garlic in dutch oven and brown the meat.  Drain off fat.  Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, cover, and simmer for 1.5 hours.

I often add more chili powder than called for as the recipe I wrote out results in chili that is somewhat bland.  I will usually add other ingredients as well, such as canned chipotle peppers (diced), corn, sliced jalepeno peppers, or whatever else I have in the house that seems like it would be good in chili.  As you can see in the pictures, the beef I cut up had bones, so I threw those in for flavor.

I have no idea where this recipe came from.  It's titled "Erin's Chili Recipe", so maybe I made it up at some point?

Bon Appetit.

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