Labor Day weekend. The start of college football. Is there possibly a BETTER time to make chili? I think not...
This chili recipe is a slight adaptation of my Dad's amazing chili, which, growing up with, has spoiled me when it comes to any other chili recipe. One of my earliest kitchen memories is making chili with Dad on a Saturday; he'd have me stir the chili to make sure it didn't stick, and I'd always get to slice the mushrooms (with one of those boiled-egg slicers!). I've doubled his recipe, since I like to share the chili and freeze the extra for lazy days.
If you have an Aldi close by, you can make this entire meal for just under $20! I actually used their brand of chili seasoning this time, instead of the usual Chili-O, and I think it turned out better than ever!
adapted from Dad
2 lbs ground beef (I use 80/20)
2 cans of kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 cans of diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (Rotel)
1 lb button mushrooms, sliced
1 large white onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 packages chili seasoning (or you can make your own; see below)
Colby cheese, cubed
Oyster crackers or cheese crackers
In a LARGE stockpot, combine the kidney beans, chili beans and tomatoes.
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet; drain on paper towels. Add to pot.
Saute the onions & peppers in olive oil. Add to pot.
Saute the mushrooms in olive oil. Add to pot.
Don't toss the stems - they have tons of mushroom flavor. Chop them up and saute them as well!
Add the chili seasoning and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Let boil for 15-20 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer chili, covered, for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If chili is too thick, add tomato juice or V8 to thin (I like my chili thick, so I never do this). Adjust seasonings as desired. You can also transfer the chili to a large slow-cooker on LOW or WARM as well.
Serve chili with cheese & crackers if desired.
If you REALLY want to make your own chili seasoning, here's a recipe I've used before:
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper