Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homemade Beef Chili with Beans

A ground beef chili, made with ground chuck, onion, peppers, basic chili seasonings, and beans.

Homemade Beef Chili with Beans

Chili, like gumbo, is a recipe that I am always playing around with, and this past weekend with the temporary winter chill that visited The Deep South was no exception.

Since The Cajun and I are empty-nesters and no longer celebrate Valentine's Day beyond a love you hug and Happy Valentine's Day greeting, and... since no matter whether I post a chili recipe with beans, or without, I will always get somebody who says it is wrong and either shouldn't have beans or that it should, so...

I figured it'd be a good time to sneak in another chili recipe while a lot of folks are hung over from all those sweet and chocolatey Valentine's Day indulgences.
Just a quick reminder.... this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, but if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
By the way, don't you just love the crock bowl up there? Some of you know I used some of my fun money to treat myself to a few things on the mid-January QVC Cooking on Q show, and these were one of those treats. Next to Amazon, QVC is one of my other guilty pleasures, and before you ask, I have no affiliation with QVC - they don't even have any idea who I am.

{Southern-Style Hissy Fit Warning} While I confess to frugality 99% of the time, I also insist that every woman, no matter her stage of life, must also have a fun money account. Start small but set aside a couple of dollars every payday in an account that is just for you to spend on things you love - purses, shoes, jewelry or if you're like me, kitchen stuff. 

We gals work hard, and yes, harder than our male counterparts very often, and many times at less (and for some of us, no) pay, and, frankly we don't treat ourselves very well sometimes.

Every day of our lives, we earn a little fun money, just for ourselves, and we certainly deserve it. Now... don't go overboard with gadgets and things you know you have no room for and will end up collecting dust on a shelf either! 

I've seen some gals fall into some kind of an obsessive, borderline hoarding category of collecting fun kitchen stuff like Pyrex for instance, because it's so vintage and pretty. I guess it's okay if you have the room for it.

Frankly my "collection" of Pyrex is small, but most of it I've had since I was a young bride and every piece of it gets used, so I don't feel a bit guilty about what I've gathered over the years and neither should you, so long as it's used and it makes you happy, the latter being more important. {tucking away soapbox}

Anyway... those crocks are part of the Temp-tations ceramic products in the yellow Old World pattern, and I especially love this purchase. I bought them with French onion soup and individual pot pies in mind, but besides cooking in them, I discovered they sure are handy for heating up individual portions of soups, stews, gumbo and chili in the microwave, plus they have a cover too.

Here's how to make my Homemade Beef Chili with Beans.

Mix together the chili seasonings - 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium high heat. Add 1-1/2 cups of chopped yellow onion, 1 cup chopped green bell pepper, and a 7 ounce can of chopped green chiles. If you prefer you can use up to 1/4 cup of jalapenos or whatever your favorite hot chile peppers are. Saute the veggies until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add 2 pounds of ground chuck and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. You can also use a more lean beef or even turkey of course, but the fat from the chuck is really flavorful and I love it for chili. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook another minute. Drain off excess fat.

Add the chili seasonings and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of hot sauce, a large 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, undrained but chopped - I just use my kitchen shears to do that right in the can - add a 14.5-ounce can of undrained diced tomatoes, 2 cups of beef broth and 2 bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes or until liquid is significantly reduced.

Add 3 cans of rinsed and drained beans, but... I want you to mash one of those cans up first. Drain, rinse then mash one can of the beans, but do a rough mash, leaving some chunky pieces. Add those to the chili along with the other two cans of drained and rinsed beans.

How this came about was that I forgot to pick up canned beans when I made a grocery run the other day, and I didn't have enough canned kidney beans in the pantry, but, I did have this large can of Creole cream style red beans that I use for my shortcut red beans and rice, so I thought, why not give it a try!

You do not have to use this kind of bean! Just mash one can of regular kidney beans, leaving some larger chunks.

The creamed beans gave this such a, well, nice and creamy consistency that I thought it was special enough to write the mashed beans into the recipe. You don't have to use the creole cream style, just mash up one can of the regular kidney beans instead. If you try this recipe with the mashed beans, let me know what you think.

Taste the chili, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking on a low simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes longer. Before serving, stir, taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.

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Posted by on February 15, 2012

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