Crystal's Chili

It's raining today! Perfect time to make chili if you ask me. This one is an award winner. It really is. It's won a 3 contests at Fall Harvest events. If you you like mild chili as opposed to spicy, then adjust the amount of chili powder you use and omit the taco seasoning.   A word of caution.  If you don't have a good stock pot, chili scorches pretty easily.  If this happens, don't scrape the bottom of the pot or you will pull up burnt stuff.  If you have a crock pot, it's the safest method for cooking chili for a long period of time.

1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef, or smoked bbq brisket (from a BBQ restaurant)
1 packet mild taco seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeded
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 28-oz. can tomato sauce 

1 14-oz. can beef stock or 1 can stout beer
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 29-oz. can kidney beans
1 4-oz. can mild chopped green chilies
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ to1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays Original

individual size bags of Fritos (see explanation below)
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a stock pot and place over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper and sauté  until the vegetables are limp, about 3 minutes.   If you are using hamburger, add the beef and the taco seasoning and brown the meat. Pour the meat mixture into a colander to drain the grease. Return to the stock pot and add the remaining ingredients. 

If using brisket, saute the onions, garlic and red pepper until the vegetables are limp.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook on a very low simmer uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours. (You can also use a crock pot and cook for 3 to 4 hours.) 

Adjust the seasonings before serving.  Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crackers.   Another fun way to serve: pour into an individual sized bag of Fritos and top with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream. I love to serve it like this for tailgate parties.  (Make sure you set the individual bags of Fritos in a paper bowl so it doesn't burn your hands.) 

  Leftovers freeze well in zip lock bags.  This is great re-heated.

Serves 6 - 8.

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