I'm a new fan of chili and this recipe is responsible for my change of heart. In the past, I would shy away from chili because it just wasn't appealing to me. Although I would eat beans in other similar dishes (think Taco Soup) I would always use my dislike for them as my excuse for not eating chili. Weird, I know.
The real reason probably lies within the fact that I just never tried good chili. Now that I've had this dish, I can honestly say I love chili. Love is a strong word, so that should tell you a lot about this recipe. I first had it over Thanksgiving vacation after my friend picked me up from the airport and made it for dinner. Before we arrived to her home, she explained it was our mutual guy friend's recipe, which immediately piqued my curiosity. I'm always intrigued when a male shares a recipe! 😉
Later that night, I called Ben to tell him how much I like chili now, knowing he'll be pleased that I'll finally start making it at home. I was super excited to also reveal that it was our friend's recipe, but when I did he wasn't surprised at all. In fact, he went on to tell ME that he had our friend's chili already during guy's poker night a while back and loved it! To me, that was further inspiration to start making this pot of yummy goodness at home.
The great thing about chili is that anything goes! (Which is ironic for me to say, because I'm pretty sure that might be the other real reason I didn't like chili in the first place. Anything goes?? Yikes!) What I mean is, you can alter it to your tastes, including the flavor, meatiness, heat, etc. For example, our friend who shared the recipe said that he will sometimes dice up some jalapeno's or shake in an extra dash of red pepper for a little more spice.
This recipe calls for Ranch Style Beans that are very popular in Texas, where our friend is originally from. Apparently these are not easily available in some places, but they are plentiful here in SoCal. I took a photo of them so you know what to look for. If you can't find them on your shelf, any chili beans will do. However, it was recommended to use Bush's medium heat chili beans for the most flavor IF the Ranch Style Beans are not available.
Although I'm enjoying sunny and 70 degree weather right now, I know there are many of you ready to escape the cold blistery winter by indulging in a nice hot cup of this chili. I've been there and done that for 20+ years. Just don't have to do it anymore! 🙂 Enjoy!
Yield: 6-8 servings
2 lb ground beef
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 can Ranch Style Beans, undrained
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
Saute' the ground beef, garlic and onion in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook until beef is browned, then drain extra grease. Mix in the beans and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1 hour.
Make-Ahead (Crock Pot): You can also cook this in a crock pot for 6 to 8 hours. I prefer the crock pot method by browning the meat and dicing the onions ahead of time then storing in the freezer. When the day comes that I'm ready to make chili, I throw the meat and onions into the pot with the rest of the ingredients then forget about it until dinner.
Source: Brian Wiese, friend of Pennies on a Platter
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