It’s chili time! This is the chili I’ve been making for several years now, and the reason being that all members of my family like it. It’s not too spicy, it has no weird ingredients, it’s not white chili, no, this is a very traditional beef and bean chili. Chili is definitely the kind of thing kids can be very picky about. Since I am not a short order cook, I try and put something on the table that appeals to everyone.
If I had my way, chili would be very spicy and made with pieces of beef chuck. But that doesn’t go over very big around here. It’s like I have to find the least common denominator of spiciness. This chili definitely has a lot of flavor but practically no heat. A couple of us just add some sriracha to our bowl to spice it up. That’s what’s great about chili. Everyone can doctor it up the way they want it.
My mom made chili when I was growing up. This is not her recipe, I don’t think she had one. She just would make a pot with ground beef, onion, tomatoes, chili powder and beans. She always made macaroni and served the chili over it. She called it chili mac. I loved it. My kids like chili with macaroni, too. Picky Eater tends to fill her bowl with macaroni, a very little spoonful of chili, a bit of cheese and then a huge amount of sour cream. That’s her very strange version of chili mac.
The mandatory toppings I put out are shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and sriracha sauce. Meathead also likes chopped onion and oyster crackers, oh, and tortilla chips. Remember, he likes crunchy things. His bowl is definitely the most loaded of all. The rest of us have our own preferences, but one thing is for sure, everyone likes the chili and macaroni.
If you are looking for a crowd pleasing chili, this is your recipe. And it’s way better the next day. It seems like a lot of chili powder but it’s not. The chili powder I buy is consistently pretty mild, lots of flavor with little heat. Feel free to adjust to your taste.
Put a pot of this chili on the stove, cook up some elbow macaroni, get out the toppings, and watch the bowls fill up and disappear.
Traditional ground beef chili, packed with flavor and served over macaroni pasta. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
- ⅔ cup finely chopped green bell pepper, chopped (about 1½ cups)
- ½ cup chili powder, that's right! or to taste
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (16-oz) can sliced stewed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (16-oz) can diced chili tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (32-oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (16-oz) can dark red kidney beans, undrained
- 1 (16-oz) can red beans, undrained
- cooked elbow macaroni for serving
In a large pot, cook ground chuck, garlic, onion, green pepper and chili powder over medium high heat. Stir frequently to break up meat and cook until beef has lost it's pink color.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (not the macaroni!) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Break up the stewed tomatoes with a wooden spoon as the chili simmers.
Let the tomatoes simmer and release their juices, then, if chili seems too thick, add 1/2 to 1 cup water. For best results, make a day in advance.
Serve over cooked macaroni and with toppings on the side. (Shredded cheddar, sour cream, hot sauce, chopped onion, oyster crackers, tortilla chips and anything else you like in your chili.)
Makes about 3 quarts of chili.
*Adapted from a newspaper clipping in my messy recipe drawer.