Lennie's Chili, Finally Written Down
- Ready In:
- 2hrs 20mins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped onions
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (you can use less, of course)
- 8 mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 5 tablespoons chili powder, divided
- 2 (28 ounce) cans plum tomatoes, drained
- 2 (19 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (5 ounce) can tomato paste
- 4 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- First off, I have one thing to say about spices: I am not about to tell you how to season your chili; what you see here is what I do, but please adjust the spicing to suit your own tastes, whether you want to tone it down or spice it up.
- Also, for the past couple of years, I have been using Penzeys medium-hot chili powder; if there's a Penzeys store near you or you order over the Internet from them, I highly recommend that blend.
- To make the chili, you'll need a large heavy pot, like a Dutch oven.
- Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in the pot and add the onion; saute for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms; saute for a couple more minutes.
- Next, crumble the beef into the pot and stir well--the idea here is not to completely brown the beef, just take away the raw colour.
- While beef is cooking, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the chili powder; stir well.
- After the beef has lost the raw red colour, spoon out any fat should you feel you need to.
- Take one of the tins of drained tomatoes and dump into the pot, using a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes into chunks.
- Take the other tin of drained tomatoes and squeeze the tomatoes with your hand, to crush them; add these crushed tomatoes to the pot and combine well.
- Stir in the well-drained kidney beans.
- In a small bowl, using a fork or a small whisk, combine the brown sugar, flour and cocoa; set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, stir together the tomato sauce and tomato paste, then stir or whisk in the cocoa mixture; when combined, add this mixture to the pot and stir well.
- Now add the remaining 4 tbsp chili powder, oregano, cumin (if using, sometimes I leave it out), salt and pepper; stir well.
- Let mixture start to bubble furiously, then turn the heat way down; after it's simmered for about 15 minutes, taste it; add more spices if you wish.
- Let chili simmer, uncovered, for at least one hour, stirring occasionally (longer is better; best is to make it the day before you want it and let it simmer some more on the second day).
- If you find it is cooking down too much or getting too thick for your tastes (this is not a thin chili), add some water or, even better, beef broth; best is a slug of beer should you happen to have some (I often don't).
- Before serving, make sure you taste the chili and adjust the seasonings as required; I often find it needs more salt.
- I serve this with sour cream on the table and usually some chopped raw green onion and shredded cheddar, plus a side of cornbread or cornbread muffins.
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Lennie I thought I had already rated this, but I guess I did not. This is the best chili I have had in a long time! I love your directions about adding your our amount of spice. The first time I made it I did not add as much, but the second time I added just like you and my child still loved it! This is a winner of chili, and yes I love the beans in it! Thanks for writing it down Lennie....