Late work day? This “False Alarm Chili” is just the thing to set the night in motion…and take the stress off of you! (N.B. For an alternate chili that uses the traditional kidney beans, see the post for Chili Con Carne.) I call it “False Alarm Chili” because you get all the flavour, and none of the heat!
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can tomato puree
3 tbsp minced garlic
3 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 large onions, minced (separated)
1 tbsp oil
2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
5 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
In a large pot, mix all the canned tomato products, garlic, black beans, and 1 1/2 of the minced onions. Bring to a boil, then back the heat off and reduce to a simmer. Cover, and stir occasionally.
In a large skillet, heat oil until it shimmers. Add the reserved 1/2 minced onion and sauté until translucent but not browned. Add the ground beef and break up any large pieces. Sprinkle over chili powder and cumin, and cook until no longer pink. (Using beef this lean means you will not have to drain it, and therefore not waste your spices as they would normally drain off in the fat!)
Add the spiced meat and onion mixture to the larger pot. Stirring occasionally, allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
This recipe can also be made the night before, stashed in the fridge, and reheated the next day to allow the flavours to commune.
(The honesty in me comes out when I have to share that I actually took the last harvest of the season in fresh tomatoes and used it in place of the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes. Cored and peeled, I cooked them down and made my own red sauce which can be used for pizzas, pastas, or in this case, chili!)
I can’t give a serving, because whenever I serve this, people always want seconds (and thirds!) Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, chopped scallions, and black olives as toppers. Oh, and regular saltines (or even oyster crackers) are a welcome accompaniment as well.
(And there’s nothing wrong if you want to have your favourite frosty malt beverage along with, just please remember to enjoy such things responsibly.)