We had a tough winter this year, with lots of below normal temperatures and lots of late season snow.  Over the winter this chili recipe came through for me time and time again.  It is so easy to defrost a pound of ground beef from the freezer and then reach for a couple of cans of chili beans and cook up this recipe at the last minute. Ingredients: 1 pound 80% lean ground beef 1 large onion, peeled and diced 4 celery stalks, chopped 2 cans (16 oz) Bush’s Chili Beans in Hot or Mild Sauce or other canned chili beans in sauce 2 cups water 1 teaspoon sugar 1 ½ teaspoons ground red chilies or to taste ¾ teaspoon cinnamon ¾ teaspoon cumin ¼ cup ketchup Brown the ground beef in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Drain and reserve the browned ground beef aside.  Add the onion and celery and cook until well softened, about 5-7 minutes or so.  Cooking these separately keeps the ground beef from overcooking and allows you to drain excess fat out of the recipe. Add back the ground beef plus the 2 cups of water and the 2 cans of chili beans with sauce and stir to combine.  Simmer all this for about 20-30 minutes.  The starch from the beans will begin to leech out and thicken the sauce nicely.  Once you have the thickness you like then you can add the seasonings. Add the sugar, ground red chili, cinnamon, cumin and ketchup to taste.  The sweetness of the sugar and ketchup should not be overpowering.  The cinnamon and cumin will barely be noticeable like they are in the best Tex-Mex cooking. Optional:  1-2 clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine, added along with the onions. A dash or two of your favorite hot sauce. A dollop of sour cream as a garnish. Tortilla Update: For a great accompaniment for your chili, try a roasted tortilla.  Take a flour or corn tortilla and lay it on a baking sheet then brush the top side with a little vegetable oil.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.  You will get some crispy browned tortillas to tear and serve over or aside of the chili.
Beef Chili Recipe
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