Spicy Beef and Bean Chili is another effort to create a spicy chili without using hot peppers. This recipe is the best one so far. He who works has proclaimed it excellent as he came back for a second helping. I served the chili crackers but it is equally delicious with sweet cornbread or other breads.
Chili is better the day after it is cooked and refrigerated. Some people recommend it not be served the same day. Leftover chili can be used in a number of ways. Mix it with pasta and it is chili Mac. Chili is great over baked potatoes with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Toss in some corn, some tomato juice and it becomes a soup, serve it with tortilla or corn chips. Chili can be poured over cheese fries, white rice, cornbread, burritos, hot dogs and burgers. Served over corn chips with shredded cheese and diced onion it becomes a chili pie.
The recipe will serve 6 or more depending on the size of the servings. Serve with crackers, over wedges of sweet cornbread or along with other breads. Include a fruit salad and ice cream for dessert.
Spicy Beef and Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon or less of cooking oil or bacon fat
- 1/2 to 1 lb. of ground beef
- 3/4 of a large onion, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 can of stewed tomatoes, crushed
- 1 tomato can of water
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of ketchup
- 10 squirts of Worcestershire sauce
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of granulated chicken bouillon
- 1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup of water
Heat the cooking oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Crumble the ground beef into the hot oil and cook until it begins to brown. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir well. Continue cooking and stirring until the meat is browned and the onion is tender.
Stir in the can of tomatoes, do not drain. Fill the tomato can with water and add it. Stir in the chili powder and the remaining seasonings. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about an hour, stirring about every 15 minutes and adding more water if needed.
Rinse the beans and drain them well. Stir the beans into the pot. Add a cup of water. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the chili to a boil. Boil a few minutes and reduce the heat to low so it simmers. Stir, cover the pot and cook the chili for another hour. Check it often and stir each time so the beans will not stick or burn. Add more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
Serve along with small dishes of sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion and hot peppers.
The next time I will thicken it.
Beer can be used as part of the liquid.
A tablespoon or more of good whiskey or bourbon would enhance the flavor.
The cumin seeds can be lightly toasted in a dry frying pan before adding to the chili.
Beef is the traditional meat to use in chili but other meats can be used. Venison is wonderful in chili. Venison has almost no fat so you have to add some. Mixing it with an equal amount of beef provides fat.
Some people use chicken or turkey in chili. I sure as hell don’t. Poultry is for dumplings, noodles and roasting.
Vegetarian chili can be made from the same recipe. Leave out the bacon fat and the meat Increase the amount of beans by a can. Add mushrooms, fried eggplant, squash or potatoes. Corn and other vegetables can be added. Serve with cornbread.
A large chopped green pepper can be added with the chopped onion.
A couple strips of bacon can be cooked crisp in the pan, removed and the remaining bacon fat can be used to cook the meat and onion in. The bacon can be crumbled and added back into the pot during the last hour of cooking time or crumbled and served at table.
A drained can of corn can be added with the beans. Frozen corn can be used. It does not have to be defrosted before adding to the chili.
There are various methods of thickening chili. You can add crushed tortilla chips or corn chips. A cup or so of the chili can be blended or mashed and added back into the pot. Corn starch, flour or corn flour can be used to thicken chili and stews. Mix a few tablespoons with cold water until smooth and pour into the bubbling chili while stirring. Let it boil for a few minutes or until as thick as you want.