I am so excited that the temperature has finally started dropping in Texas! That means it is chili and Frito pie time! I think I could live off of Frito pie! And making chili is therapeutic for me. I have been making chili since college. I started out with a recipe called The Chili that Saved Christmas from Pigtails and Froglegs: A Family Cookbook from Neiman Marcus. Since then I have developed my own style of making chili, and rarely do any two batches come out the same. I don’t use a recipe. I have a chili base that I typically start with, and add ingredients to taste. Here is my chili secret; use a good amount of fresh peppers and onions and use good chili powder. I bought generic one time and it completely changed the taste. I have two brands that I stick with now, McCormick and Tones. This time when I made chili, I actually measured the ingredients and wrote it down. It was a fantastic batch and I am going to share this awesome recipe with you.
Start browning your meat in a large skillet. Depending on how much you make and the size of your skillet, you may have to brown your meat in batches. I made a 3 pound batch this time. 3 lbs doesn’t fit in my skillet.
While the meat is browning, chop up your onions and peppers and sauté in a large pot with a little olive oil. Here is where you can change up the flavor of your chili a little bit. You can add all sorts of peppers to your chili. I love making jalapeno chili, but this batch is a milder batch of chili. This is the blend of peppers I used. A small assortment from my Mom’s garden. You can really get creative here.
I like my vegetables chopped up really small so that I can get a good consistency in my chili, so I use my kitchenaid food processer to chop up my veggies. I also cook my onions for a few minutes before I add my peppers and the minced garlic.
Add browned meet to the vegetable mixture and stir. Notice vegetable to meat ratio in the picture. Fresh veggies make the chili savory!
Add in all tomato products and seasonings. I used my homemade ketchup in this batch. You can find the recipe here. Because my ketchup turned out a little runny I used 1 full cup. I have substituted 1/2 cup commercial ketchup in the recipe below. It also wasn’t a real sweet ketchup so I added 1 tablespoon sugar. The additional sugar is not necessary when using commercial ketchup. Let this come to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until all the flavors have blended well.
Wasn’t that easy? If you like beans in your chili, you can add a few cans of kidney beans about 10 minutes before the chili is done. If you like to add a bunch of beans, you might add an extra tablespoon of chili powder. Also, you can add jalapenos, red pepper, or cayenne pepper to give it a little extra punch.
Products I Used: