I wrote this post last week…prior to knowing that we would be blessed with our first baby a whole week and a half early on Saturday morning. We welcomed our son, Kieran James, into the world just two days ago and I already forget how I existed before him. We are all home and happy and healthy. Forgive my scattered thoughts and sporadic posting during these next few weeks. I don’t want this little blog to fall by the wayside, but there are many new priorities coming to light now. So, just bear with me! In the meantime, enjoy this post/recipe. It may be the most coherent thing I share for quite some time!
I am sharing one of the most unromantic foods on Earth with you today. Why does that matter, you ask?
Well, today is our wedding anniversary. Womp womp. If I was better organized, I’m sure I would have planned something super sweet and more appropriate for such an occasion, but c’est la vie! I know my hubs doesn’t mind. He gets plenty spoiled with my cooking all the other days of the year. Love you, hun.
Chili is one of those things that I think MOST people are on board with. It’s hearty, comforting, and flavor packed…plus it often gets associated with football and fall and fun. You really can’t go wrong with chili.
This version is my standard go-to chili recipe. It’s a fairly customary beef and bean chili: tons of veggies, tomatoes, spices, and beans all mixed together in a slow-simmering beef base. I threw in some of the end-of-summer corn I had on hand when I made this batch, and it totally took it over the top. Fresh corn is always best, but I normally would just add frozen if I was making this in the late fall/winter months. It adds that perfect little bite of sweetness here and there. Love it.
I think part of the reason so many people can get behind chili is the toppings. I mean, eating a bowl of chili is really just an excuse to pile on fun things like cheese, sour cream, creamy avocado, and even tortilla chips. Am I right? I think I might be. The actual chili gets lost in the toppings excitement sometimes. This chili, however, stands up to that excitement and acts as the hearty, spicy backbone for the whole shebang.
It is good stuff. I mean, I rarely stray from this recipe. There’s no reason to! It comes out perfectly every time.
It’s great for serving at a large party, or a fun tailgate, or even to your special someone for a romantic “happy anniversary” dinner…OK, maybe not that last one (right, hun?). I mean, really, there’s nothing romantic about beans. I love them, but c’mon. Most unromantic food ever.
But you get the idea…
This chili rocks. Go make some.
Beef & Three-Bean Chili (makes 8-10 servings)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (28-oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 (15-oz) can pinto beans
1 (15-oz) can black beans
1 (15-oz) can kidney beans
2 cups of fresh or frozen corn (I used fresh – about 4 ears)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large pot and add the ground beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is browned and mostly cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the pot and pour off the drippings.
Return the pot to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and stock and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, partially cover the pot, and allow the chili to simmer over low heat for 3 hours, occasionally stirring.
Drain and rinse the canned beans and add them to the pot. Partially cover and simmer for another hour. At this point, add the corn and check for seasonings (I find that chili is one of those “taste as you go” things. You may find that adjusting the spices and salt levels will be necessary throughout the cooking process). Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve the chili garnished with desired toppings.