There's something about a crisp, Fall day that makes me crave chili. Even if I'm chilled to the bone, one bowl of chili brings me back to right and makes me feel cozy. I've tried a million recipes with varied success, but this here recipe I'm about to give you is Chili The Way I Like It. It didn't come from a published recipe, it came from tinkering with process and spices, and it's not super hot, but it does have a nice heat at the back of it. Just The Way I Like It. If you're in need of a satisfying chili recipe, give this one a whirl!
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. water
28-32 oz. of canned tomatoes (I used a can of stewed tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes because that's what I had on hand, but use whatever you've got)
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder (or use 1 clove minced)
1 1/2-2 tsp. chili powder (adjust this to your taste)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can kidney beans, mostly drained
1 can black beans, undrained
First, heat up a pot until it's "screaming hot" (as Rachel Ray likes to say), then crumble in your ground beef. Cook it most of the way through, constantly breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Then add the salt and black pepper, along with the onion and water. Cook over high heat until most of the water has evaporated--this makes the meat nice and tender and really saturates it with the onion and salt and pepper. I could almost eat it just like this.
To the now-relatively-dry ground beef mixture, add the oregano, cumin, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne. Stir the mixture over medium high heat for about a minute, just to "toast" the spices and bring out their flavor.
Then add the tomatoes and beans. Then toss in the bay leaf and give it a stir. Let the mixture come to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer for at least half an hour, preferably more. OR you could toss it into the crock pot and let it simmer for a long time on Low. Mmmmm good.
My favorite way to serve this is over pasta (radiatore, rotini, and elbow noodles are all favorites) and topped with cheese. Delish!