- 1½ lbs medium-lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 26-oz can crushed or ground tomatoes (low-salt)
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1½ cups water
- 2 TBS Grandma's Hot ("Zesty") Chili Powder
- 3 TBS Gebhardt's Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp vinegar
- ¼ cup masa flour mixed w ¾ cup water
- 1 lg can kidney beans, drained
- 1 can pitted olives, quartered
- Brown ground beef with onion.
- Add all other ingredients except beans & olives. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add beans & olives. Simmer for 10 minutes more.
My Chunky Chili recipe (elsewhere on this
website) is mainly for company. This recipe is mainly for casual
eating. It's easy, it's quick, and it does what chili is supposed to
do: fill you up with a fairly spicy dish that combines interesting
tastes and textures. I've tried lots of ground-beef chili recipes --
some with odd additional ingredients, some requiring much longer
cooking times, some a lot spicier. This combination of ingredients,
with a fairly short cooking time, is what I've settled on as the chili
I like to cook and eat on a frequent basis.
In terms of its peculiarities, the recipe's
quartered canned olives give it a bit of a California feel (entirely
appropriate, since that's where I've done most of my chili
experimentation) and add to the texture. The masa flour (instead of
corn starch or some other thickener) gives it something of a
Southwestern or Mexican taste. (Masa, sometimes labeled "masa harina,"
is available in most supermarkets in California and at Hispanic grocery
stores elsewhere.) True Texans usually leave out the beans (see my
father's chili recipe), but I like beans in my chili, and I like kidney
beans more than pinto beans. I've stipulated brands of chili powder --
actually, a combination of two widely available brands -- because
commercial chili powders vary considerably in taste as well as in
hotness. One of my department colleagues, a psychologist named Ed
Turner, used to bring me back a bag of chili powder every time he went
home to Kansas City. I sometimes wondered what was in that chili powder
(Ed also distributed bags of certain other ingredients that I didn't
try), but it did add an interesting taste to the chili. Ed is no longer
with us, so I don't get Kansas City chili powder any more. The
combination of Grandma's and Gebhardt's is my attempt to approximate
the same flavor.
This recipe doubles, triples, or quadruples
easily, and it freezes very well. I usually eat some of it right after
I cook it, but it's best after it ages in the refrigerator for a couple
of days or more. Serve with crackers (preferably broken up and mixed
into your bowl of chili), and of course with cole slaw on the side.