Happy New Year! Yeah, I’m aware, it’s the 10th of January already. What can I say other than it appears this year is going to start off exactly the same as last year: behind schedule. So, I’m kicking off the new(ish) year with my easy homestyle chili recipe, a post I had originally planned to get up in December. Classic Katrina.
I’m sitting here today in the kitchen and it is gross outside. It’s been snowing for 15 hours straight and while it was cold before the wind kicked up, with the wind it’s straight up medieval. Just venturing outside to take the kids to school was pure torture. It was almost as bad as staring at these pictures of chili is when I’m hungry. Especially considering I’ll be spending the night in a hockey arena trying to shovel fries in my mouth before they freeze.
What I’m trying to tell you is that I wish I had a bowl of this chili in front of me right now. Or that I had been smart and frozen the leftovers like I usually do, instead of leaving them in a rubbermaid in the fridge to pick at over three days. Oh the annoying gift of hindsight.
Every Chili Has A Story
My Nana used to always have chili for us in the winter. And her freezer was like Mary Poppins’ carpet bag. If you wanted chili and it wasn’t on the stove, there was always enough in the freezer for dinner. It was nothing special, lots of beans and lots of meat. But isn’t that exactly what chili is supposed to be? Nothing special, but everything you need on a chilly winter night.
That’s where I finally ended up after making our own family chili recipe. I say ended up because I remember in the early days when I was all “Oh, my chili has chocolate in it, it enhances the flavour so much”, and then it was “I buy imported dried chilies to make my own chili powder, you can’t find the same quality in a bottle”. Yes, I know how pretentious that sounds. Don’t worry, I came to my senses, and now it’s “I have three kids and sleep 4 hours a night, who the hell has time to do more than open up a handful of cans”.
Side note: Those damn imported dried chilis I had? They fucking had pantry moth larvae in them, and ended up infesting my entire kitchen. #NeverAgain
This Bread Is Great For Chili Dipping!
Let’s get to this super easy chili recipe!
I really mean it when I say this is easy to make. The hardest part is just chopping up a few vegetables (onion, pepper, and celery). If we’re being honest, you can buy a frozen mix of those three things and just dump them in. Boom. Even easier. Outside of that it’s just browning some ground beef and pork, and opening a ton of cans. Enough explaining, here’s your recipe!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds medium ground beef (can also use lean)
- 2 pounds Italian sausage, casings removed
- 4 (15 oz) cans chili beans (can also use spicy ones)
- 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 4 cubes beef bouillon
- 1 cup beer (any kind you like, I go pale ale)
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (can use regular paprika too)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp hot sauce (I use Franks red hot)
- Heat a very large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat as required, until evenly browned.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir to mix the tomato paste in. Add all the other ingredients, stir, then cover simmer over low heat for at least two hours. The longer it cooks, the better it will taste. You can adjust the seasonings before serving if you want (more salt or peppers).
We always serve this with some shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Corn chips go great too.
This makes a giant batch, and I like to freeze half of it. It'll keep for 6 months in the freezer.