Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Simply Chilli

There is nothing exotic about this recipe—it is just good, simple chilli. Great for cold Autumn days. I have put no ‘heat’ in this recipe, so it is very kid-friendly. If you want some spice, just add chipotle powder (which is smoked jalepeno powder), or cayenne pepper to your liking.
I served this in baked potatoes for the little ones, over pasta for the Mister and on top of fresh salad greens with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheddar cheese for me. On this night, everyone liked their dinner.
This chilli is easy to make ahead and reheat, or allow to simmer slowly on the stove or in a crock-pot.

1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Pounds lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
1 Medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 Large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
4 ounces chirizo (Spanish sausage), skin removed, diced small—optional
1 cup strong beer
24 ounces tomato pasata, sauce (plain) or sugocasa (for Americans I am talking about plain tomato puree)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or sweet)
1 teaspoon dry thyme (powder is best)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons mild chilli powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Few dashes of ground cloves
2 tablespoons vinegar
1, 2 or 0 cans of pinto or kidney beans, drained—optional

1) Set a large pot over medium high heat and pour in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Pile in the onions and garlic, cook until translucent, then add in the ground meat, stir and cook until most of the pink is gone. If the meat is very lean, there should not be fat to drain off, but if you do find fat, just pour it out of the pan and continue.

2) Now add in all the rest of the ingredients, stir well, bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for as little as 45 minutes to as long as 3 hours—just make sure to check the piqued that the chilli is not too dry (if so, add more water).

Serve as you like!

Makes about 12 servings.

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