Oh it’s that time of year where nothing beats a nice bowl of chili while enjoying the game. I probably say that about every game day food I write about, but I can’t deny it when we’re talking chili. Years ago, my husband worked with someone from Texas and he was horrified to discover we put beans (*gasp) in our chili. What followed was a fascinating conversation the “rules” of what makes a good bowl of chili where he was from in Texas. He and his wife always served the beans in the side so they could be added to the bowl to each person’s preference. So honestly, not only do I think of them every time I make chili, I feel that they are looking down disapprovingly at us!
I always start by browning a pound or so of lean ground beef (I try to get 90% when I can). As the beef is browning in a Dutch oven, I add about a cup each of diced onion and peppers. At the very least, I use green bell pepper, but I do love spicing it up a notch if I have some leftover poblanos in the fridge.
Once the beef is browned, I add two 14oz cans of diced tomatoes and one can of kidney beans. But the absolute key to a good chili in my humble opinion are the spices. I honestly just keep a stash by my side and add until it has the perfect flavor. I typically use ground pepper, a bit of salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a touch of cinnamon. The cinnamon gives all the spices the perfect touch of sweetness.
I keep simmering for about twenty minutes at a time, tasting, then adjusting the spices if I have to. As my grandma always said, once you put the spices in, you can’t get them out!
We like serving it up topped with shredded cheddar cheese and diced green onions. My only regret here is that I didn’t think to make a batch of cornbread to serve on the side, so tortilla chips had to do the trick.
What’s been on your game day menu? Whatever it is, may you enjoy it in good health and surrounded by those you love!
Eat well my friends!