Last night, I’m pretty sure I made the best chili in the history of the universe. I know, I know- It’s not like chili is hard to make- throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and cook the crap out of it. And yet… the difference between a decent chili and something truly outstanding is more than a gulf. Less is more, as it so often the case- no need for fancy add-ins or strange tricks. This is simple and perfect. I’m glad I kept track of what I did for this one, because dude…aces. Plus, any excuse to bust out the enameled cast iron dutch oven. Yay! Cook. Eat. Roll eyes and enjoy.
HumbleBrag Blue Ribbon Chili
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp powdered garlic
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cans small red beans or pinto beans
- 1 can dark red kidney beans
- 1 large (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 large (28 ounces) can tomato puree
Get out yer big ol’ dutch oven. If you don’t have one, go here and get one- you’re never going to get a better price (they’re clearing out for a new design) and on top of that, it’s the America’s Test Kitchen winner for best enameled cast iron. GO!! Anyway…. get your pot on the stove.
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat, and add the onions and peppers and saute until soft and have a little color, about 8 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika cayenne, and salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add all three garlic variations. (If you only have fresh, use six cloves, but the different types adds some nuance and depth) Cook for a few seconds until you can really smell the aroma of garlic.
Add the ground beef and turkey and turn the heat up to medium-high and cook, using a spoon to stir it all together and break up the ground meat as it cooks. Saute until meat is brown and cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Drain the cans of beans and add, along with both cans of tomato, including the juice. Adjust heat and bring to a simmer, covered, for about an hour.
Uncover and cook for another hour, until the meat is tender and the whole pot smells mouthwateringly good. Stir occasionally and adjust salt to taste.
Serve with sharp grated cheddar and a sprig of cilantro. If you’re not me, add some Saltine crackers for a vintagey homey feel. It’s even better the next day, by the way. Enjoy!