When we met, Kris and I had different ideas about what good chili was. She was all about French’s Chili-O with more beans and tomatoes than meat, the way her dad has always made it, and the standard by which she judged all other chili. I, on the other hand, am a fan of Texas-style red chili; basically a spicy meat sauce with some beans in it. I usually made something like Wick Fowler’s 3 Alarm Chili or Shotgun Willey’s Texas Chili, which are chili kits you can buy at most supermarkets. Below is the amalgam that we created (after much experimentation) that satisfies us both, and is better than either of our individual ideas before.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2-3 fresh homegrown tomatoes, diced
- 1 15 ounce can Bush’s Best Chili Beans
Finely chop the onion and garlic. Saute in the olive oil until golden. Add ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add all spices, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and chili beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve with whole wheat crackers (Kris), or top with sour cream and shredded cheese (Brandon). It’s even better the next day.