Wednesday, October 21, 2009

(Almost) Crazy for Homemade Chili - October 20, 2009

I can't believe how remarkably easy it is to make chili from (almost) scratch. From start to finish, this took me about 45 minutes, although I was moving quite sluggishly. You see, I woke up SUPER early (i.e. 6:00 AM) to start cooking chili for Jimmy's lunch. Between the vacant stares at a pile of onions and absentmindedly stirring the pot, this chili could have easily been made in half an hour or less.

Homemade chili with crackers

For Jimmy's lunch, I packed about a cup and a half of chili, half a cup of steamed corn, and two fluffy Greek pitas, sliced into wedges. I should have given him more vegetables (to sneakily force him into The Diet), since this dish is (almost) all meat, but it was early and I wasn't thinking straight.

~ * ~

Homemade Chili
Makes 5-6 cups of chili (almost a full, regular-sized pot)

3 ½ cups ground beef
1-2 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 ½ cups diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1-2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 jar/can of tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
Sriracha sauce (to taste)

First, brown the beef on high heat, and break it up into little bits as it cooks. Toss in the salt and pepper. Once all of the water has evaporated, drain the meat in a strainer and rinse it to get rid of the oil. Leave the beef in the strainer.

Return the pot to the stove, heat on high, and add the vegetable oil. Toss in the onion and garlic, and fry until fragrant. Add chili powder and cumin. When onions are translucent, turn down the heat.

Add the tomato sauce, and scrape the bottom of the pot for any browned bits from the beef and onions. Continue to stir until the sauce bubbles. Add the drained beef.

Taste for flavour and spiciness. You may have to add more chili powder, salt, or Sriracha. When you are satisfied with the flavour, add the rinsed kidney beans.

Simmer on low for as long as you can wait to eat it! Serve piping hot with bread on the side and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.

~ * ~

I didn’t actually garnish this bowl, except for the crackers. It ended up too salty to eat with the crackers, but that was because I was eating salted crackers (duh!). When I ate it with thick pita bread, it was more balanced, and all was good in the world.

Notes for Next Time!

This batch turned out okay, considering the fact that I made it while half asleep. I ran out of chili powder in the end, so I felt it was a little lacking. For the copious amounts of beef, I really should have added more spice. I ended up adding more cumin to help it along. I think if I had used twice the amount of onions, it would have tasted much better, too. Oh well. I could added some vegetables into the chili to bring it within The Diet, but the pot was already full of chili. There simply wasn't any space!

A different angle on the chili

I ate this for lunch and dinner yesterday with my favourite spoon. I bought a set of Korean chopsticks and spoon from T&T this past summer completely on impulse. Just look at that cute turtle! I imagine they’re meant for children, but I couldn’t resist. Eager to show this off, I tried a bunch of weird angles, but there was too much glare from the window. This was the best picture. Oh, and the colour is a bit off, though I tried tweaking it in Photoshop Elements for about 20 minutes.

Now that I’m back in Kingston, I’ll start focusing more of the posts on cooking and my kitchen stuff. The summer posts can sit and wait until they magically inspire words to fill the screen.



  1. Mmmm. your chili looks good. My sis recently made some and was shocked at how easy it was too. I made some with turkey once and it was awful. Just doesn't have the right taste for chili. I only use beef now.

  2. Thanks! I was thinking of using ground turkey, but I only had ground beef in the freezer. I've used turkey as a substitute for pork before, and I think it's better suited for that.

    I do agree that a chili without beef just isn't chili.


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