Thursday, January 24, 2013

Momma's Chili

Like my momma's meatloaf, I suspect this was first my grandmother's chili.  Also like my momma's meatloaf, my mother and I don't make this the same way.  The basic "core" recipe is the same, but the combination of spices is slightly different.  And it's generally not made the same way twice.

This is a simple, hearty, and usually fairly thick soup with beans, beef, and full of rich tomato flavor.  In the cold of winter, this is the chili I turn to when I want to curl up with a bowl of warmth and comfort.  Sometimes if she needed to stretch the chili a bit, my mother would serve this over a bed of white or brown rice.  As a kid, I wasn't crazy about that, but now that I'm grown, it's a nice change every now and again.

But at the same time, this bowl of goodness would be fantastic as a base for a chili bar with lots of toppings like cheese, sour cream, white onions, jalapenos, avocado, green onions, and crushed corn chips.  With the addition of a variety of beers a chili bar would make a fun Super Bowl buffet.

Momma's Chili

1 pound ground beef
1/2 white onion, diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 12.5 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cans Bush's Chili Hot Beans
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally until meat is cooked through.

Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.  Add in spices and stir well to combine.

Cover and simmer at least 30 minutes - an hour is better.

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