The Super Bowl is almost here and while football is not really my thing, any “holiday” where food features prominently is worth celebrating, I suppose. Chili is certainly a popular football game day dish judging by the zillion or so recipes for chili I found on a Pinterest search. So why is mine worth a try? Well, your whole family can eat and enjoy it. Your mouth will not be ablaze with the fire of 10 million habaneros, however your taste buds won’t be bored either. There is a touch of spice, yes, but the spice level was more than tolerable enough for my toddler, yet the chili was full of flavor thanks to my original spice blend. Also, this chili is quick to make. It doesn’t have to sit in a crockpot all day while you’re waiting to eat. You can certainly let it simmer on the stove for a bit to let the flavors meld or keep it in a crockpot on warm after cooking but if you want to make this chili after work for a weeknight dinner, no problem.
So here goes…brown ground beef, onion, and chopped bell pepper in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Drain off any excess grease then add in tomatoes and the three beans. To be clear, that’s three types of beans: black beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. Then it’s time to add the spice.
The original version of this recipe called for store bought chili seasoning. I opted to create my own. Another Pinterest search revealed a number of posts on homemade chili seasonings so I took the the best from each of them and ended up using dried minced onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and some brown sugar to balance out the smokiness of the paprika.
After all the ingredients were in the pot, I brought the chili to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with whatever toppings you prefer. I just like crushed tortilla chips for the crunchy contrast but sour cream, shredded cheese, or diced jalapenos would all work great. Enjoy the game!
Side note: this recipe serves about 8-10 but if you’re not feeding a crowd, the leftovers freeze really well. Just thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in a pot on the stove.
Three Bean Chili
Yield: serves 8-10
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 – 16 ounce cans dark red kidney beans
2 – 16 ounce cans pinto beans
2 – 16 ounce cans black beans
1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
homemade chili seasoning (one batch, or to taste) or 2 packages store bought chili seasoning
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, or shredded cheese to garnish
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper. Drain excess grease.
2. Add the beans, tomatoes and tomato paste, chili seasoning, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
3. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Homemade Chili Seasoning
Yield: enough seasoning for 2 pounds of beef/8 servings of chili
2 tablespoons dried minced chopped onions
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix together all the spices in a bowl. Use right away for chili or store in a sealed jar for future use.