Prep 30 mins
Cook 48 hrs
I grew up in a house where leftovers became staple, and nothing was better than dad's chili. It could survive a week in the fridge, and it still feeds me in college.
- 1 (16 ounce) bag dried kidney beans (dry beans are a MUST)
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Dry beans are a must in this recipe. Canned beans absorb the flavor of the can, and can leave an after taste. Yes, it takes longer than canned, but trust me, the taste difference is worth it.
- First, you pour your bag of kidney beans into your desired cooking pot, cover them with water, at least half an index finger deep, and let them sit for twenty-four hours. During this time make bread, hang out with your family, watch a few movies, catch up on your homework, write a term paper, whatever.
- Check the beans frequently and add water when needed. The beans should always be covered in water.
- The beans are done soaking, usually after twenty-four hours, when they are soft to the touch. Not mushy, but soft. Something you would chew on without worrying about breaking teeth.
- Put them on simmer. This will soften them even more. It usually takes at least half a day of simmering, so I hope you had a full weekend to cook this. Trust me, it's not fun to attempt this recipe without a weekend available.
- Once again, always check the water. The beans need water. They crave it, they desire it. Give them the water!
- After they are as soft as you would like them, some people prefer more solid to others, crank the heat a little bit, and begin to brown the ground beef in a separate pan.
- Ground turkey is a good substitute, I don't think tofu would work though. If you prefer a vegan recipe, leave out the meat entirely. It's up to you.
- Once the meat has been browned, let it cool a little, and add the tomato paste, stirring it into the pot. Don't remove any water.
- Add the ground beef/ground turkey/tofu (if you're daring) at this point.
- Flavor with chili powder as desired, and add any chili peppers, onions, or tomatoes you wish at this point. Any vegetable you want, at this point. Yes, even pumpkin.
- Let it bubble and toil for a good few minutes, until you think it's ready to serve (the meat has already been cooked, as have the beans, the flavors are just getting to know one another at this stage), and serve.
- Stir in some cheese if you wish, or just eat it plain, it's still good. And the best part? Just add a little water after it's sat in the fridge overnight, and it's good warmed up the next day. Or even in the microwave. Yes, it's better than pizza as a college staple.