A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Teresa's Best Chili-From-A-Can

I'm here to report back on tonight's bean-featuring dish. I wanted to post this recipe even though it differs only marginally from some of my past chili attempts, because for whatever reason, this turned out to be the best chili I've ever made (possibly excepting my lentil chili, which has such a different flavor that it really can't be compared). I'd like to think that the improvement was due to my innovative use of beef broth, but I suspect that using a pre-packaged chili mix for seasonings had more to do with it. Guess I'll have to eat my words about the uselessness of such things.

1 lb. ground beef
1 very small onion, or about 1/4 to 1/3 very large onion, diced (sorry, I'm bad at estimating amounts of onion!)
2 cans diced tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes
1 can chili beans
1 can other beans of your choice (I used black-eyed peas, but any beans of a contrasting color would work)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 can beef broth
1 can no-salt-added sweet corn
1 packet of mild chili flavorings
1- 2 tablespoons sliced jalapenos (sure, take 'em from a jar if you want. This is chili-from-a can, after all)
dash of salt, if desired
additional liquid, if desired

1. Spray the liner of a large crockpot with cooking spray of choice.
2. Place the onion and ground beef in a skillet and brown, turning frequently. While the beef is browning, do step 3.
3. Pour the canned beans into a colander and rinse to get rid of that nasty bean sludge. Pour beans into slow cooker.
4. When the beef is browned, pour it into the colander and rinse to get rid of fat. Or, if you think that's weird, use your preferred method of removing excess fat.
5. Add all the other ingredients, except salt (see below). Use your judgment about the amount of liquid: between the beef broth and the canned veggies, the chili may be "soupy" enough. I added a small amount of water just to be safe.
6. Stir ingredients thoroughly. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2- 4 1/2 hours, depending on your slow cooker. You may want to wait till the end to decide whether it needs salt. I added just a quick sprinkle of it at the end of cooking.

Serving suggestions
To eat this chili the Teresa way, add table cream, strips of velveeta (yeah, I know, it's yucky, but when there's eight inches of snow outside, you make do with what's in the house), and crumpled up tortilla chips. To eat the chili the Leopold Tulip way, skip the velveeta but add hearty spoonfuls of salsa verde in addition to corn chips and table cream. Either way, serve Texas toast on the side.

This is a moderately hot chili, by my standards. (Yes, the chili packet I used was a mild one, but the addition of jalapenos ups the ante.) If you know that all consumers of your chili prefer a spicy chili, go ahead and by a hotter seasoning packet, or add more jalapenos. My own preference is to go for a mild chili and add abundant garnishes, such as hot sauce, or, in this case, the salsa verde.


Blogger janeeyreish said...

Too much work for my taste, but sounds good. I'm probably more a Leopold than a Teresa, but if you'll make it, I'll eat it. What is scary is if this from a can, how much work do you have to do if it's not from a can? (Can't imagine...)

2:41 PM  

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