Easy Chili Recipes
A chili recipe is something like a beef stew recipe. Many are good, some are bad and they're all a little different.
But one thing they do have in common is that everyone thinks they have the best chili recipe.
Below is an easy chili recipe that is not only simple and easy to make, but it's very good. It can also serve as a starting point for many different chili recipe variations. By itself it makes a great tailgating recipe. You can mix and match the different ingredients until you find the one you like the best. But even with the different variations, each one is still an easy chili recipe.
I would also like to point out that this chili recipe contains beans. I know the chili purists will not like this, but it helps make this chili recipe easy and good.
Whatever you do for any kind of cooking, make sure you have fresh, good quality ingredients. Nothing spoils a good recipe faster than trying to save a buck on cheap, poor quality ingredients.
Let's get started.
The first thing to remember is that all the amounts are approximate. I might list three tablespoons of something but that's just a suggestion. Use more or less of whatever it is until you find what you like.
Easy Chili Recipe
Shortening or vegetable oil: 1 or 2 teaspoons
Good quality lean ground beef or ground sirloin: 1-1/2 to 2 pounds
Chopped white onion: 1 large
Good quality chili power: 3 heaping tablespoons - I like Gebhardt's brand.
Paprika: 1 tablespoon
Garlic powder: 1 teaspoon - (NOT garlic salt)
Cumin: 1 teaspoon (omit if you don't like cumin)
Salt and black pepper: to taste
Ranch Style Beans: 1 large can (about 25-32 oz) **
Pinto beans: 1 large can (about 25-32 oz)
Kidney beans: 1 small can (about 15 oz) (optional)
Coat the bottom of a big pot (6 quarts or so) with oil or melted shortening. You don't need much, just enough to keep the meat from sticking. Now add the meat and let it cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Don't let it start to stick.
When the meat is starting to cook and is breaking apart, add the chopped onion and stir it into the meat. Now add the powdered ingredients and stir them all in. Stir this a few times while it's cooking.
When the meat is almost done, add the beans. Rinse the cans with a little water to get all of the sauce out of the cans.
At this point your chili should be slightly watery. If it's not, add a little more water (or beer). Let this simmer for about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
After about 20 minutes, taste it! If you think it needs more flavor, add more seasoning, like chili powder. The most common reason I've seen for having a flavorless batch of chili is not enough chili powder. So if it's bland at this point, add some more. DO NOT BE AFRAID!
Let this cook for about an hour and a half, stirring and tasting occasionally.
It can be ready to eat any time after the meat is cooked but gets better after about an hour or so. And it is better still the next day.
Chili Recipe Variations
Here are some other things to try. It adds a little to the difficulty level but not too bad. Try one at a time or all at once. Experiment! Have fun with it!
Add a 15 ounce can of whole tomatoes when you add the beans. Smash them up some with a fork first.
Add or substitute top sirloin steak to/for the ground beef. Cut it up into small pieces
Add some chopped up fresh garlic. 2 or 3 cloves should do it. Or even 6 or 8 if you like garlic.
Kick up the heat with some ground red pepper (cayenne) or a couple of chopped jalapenos
Add a beer. Not light. Not flavored.
Try a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire sauce.
A couple of chopped chipotle chilies (without the sauce if you are using canned) will add a nice smokey flavor as well as a little heat.
** The main ingredients listed on a can of Ranch Style Brand beans are as follows: Pinto Beans, Water, Tomato Puree, Salt, Chili Peppers, Sugar, Paprika, Vinegar and some other spices. So if you can't find Ranch Style Brand beans, substitute a similar chili bean or add a little bit of some of the ingredients.