Chill of Fall

For the first time since April, I gave my dear old air conditioner a rest this last week.  Granted it was only a small one, but with tropical storm Lee came a slight chill, at least in Audley’s world.
He gets cold when it’s below 80.  Me?  I get hot when it is above 40.  Makes for much marital bliss.

When the temperature drops, I do love to bring out the big stock pot and throw on some chili.  Something about that first pot of the season that is just so satisfying and comforting.  It symbolizes the changing of the seasons and the warmth that fills our home during the upcoming holidays.

My chili has changed a lot over the years; I’ve gone from making a thick mess like you buy in cans using chili-o seasoning to a highly demanded pot of chili from scratch.  You’ll have to taste it to judge it, but there are no complaints from this family!

Jen’s Favorite Chili

1 pound dried pinto beans
1/2 pound dried black beans
2 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 14-ounce cans beef broth
1 whole large onion, diced
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne powder (more for a kick)
1 1/4 tsp. cumin
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste

Cook your dried beans according to package directions (or which ever way you prefer to cook dried beans, just limit your seasonings).  I just add some salt and cook the two beans together, but that is my preference.  Drain and rinse the beans, setting aside until ready to use.

Brown your ground sirloin in a skillet over medium heat.  Drain grease and set aside.

In a large stock pot, add all of your prepared ingredients together and mix well.  Finish covering the chili with water and simmer for an hour on medium heat.  Stir occasionally and watch your liquid levels so that you don’t have a dried out soup! Taste after an hour and adjust your seasonings like salt, cumin and cayenne pepper to your preferred taste.  I know these are sensitive tastes and you don’t want to over do them, but you want a rich and hearty chili!

Serve up with rice or tortilla chips and garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese or green onion.

And while chili is really good, fresh and hot on an autumn night, it is even better after the flavors have had time to mesh!  So, the next day after your daughter’s volleyball game has lasted well past suppertime……

you can quickly reheat your chili for a late night meal.

The best part of this chili recipe is that you can just use canned beans and after browning your ground sirloin throw all of the ingredients into a crock pot on low, letting it simmer all day!

2 thoughts on “Chill of Fall

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