I made this chili a couple of weeks ago on one of those days where winter was still trying to keep its grip on us. Chili is the perfect comfort food- it is on the same plane as soups and stews. My dad makes a mean chili. Growing up chili was usually a meal for a Sunday. I remember coming downstairs in the morning before church, seeing the crock-pot sitting on the counter, already simmering away as my dad always wakes up super-early, and getting very excited about the deliciousness that would await us later. I loved coming home from church to the delicious chili-scented air. I’m pretty sure he never follows a recipe, adding a little of this, and a little of that, and having it be the same but also unique each time (if that makes any sense).
Me… I’m sure I could throw together some chili without following a recipe as well, although I’m not sure it’d live up to my dad’s, but I really love trying out the numerous chili recipes out there as well. The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook alone has 6 different recipes for chili, and I fully intend to try them all! I decided to make this one first, as I was lured in by the ingredient list which includes pretty much all pantry staples in my home. Ron says this is the best chili I’ve made yet (and I’ve tried a bunch of recipes), so it was definitely a success! It’s very simple (as the title states), but it still takes its time to cook, so it’s definitely best for a weekend or day off. I made it on a weeknight, and so we didn’t end up eating until 9:30 this particular night… the wait was so worth it though!
Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
1 (15-oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-oz) can tomato puree
1. Place a Dutch oven over medium-heat, and add oil. Heat until shimmering. Add onions, bell peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and slightly browned.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Cook until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes, stirring and breaking up with a spoon.
3. Add the beans, diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato puree and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally. Then remove the cover, and cook for another hour, stirring occasionally. (If the mixture begins to stick, you can add up to 1/2 cup water.)
4. Season with salt to taste. Serve with any optional condiments desired!
Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook