This recipe is award-winning. Seriously. It won the Faith Presbyterian Church Chili Cook-Off some years ago, which granted me eternal bragging rights (as far as I’m concerned). I always cook up as large a batch as I can manage, and freeze most of it in meal-size portions for later. It’s been a family favorite for years, so here it is – documented for posterity!
MB’s Award-Winning Chili
2 pounds ground beef 1 large mild onion, diced 2 large green bell peppers, diced 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes 1 12-ounce can tomato paste 2 cups water 1 15.5-ounce can beans (any type) 3 Tablespoons chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper grated cheddar cheese (for topping)
Brown ground beef, drain and add to large soup pot. Sauté onion and green pepper until just tender, add to pot. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, and water. Stir to mix thoroughly. Add seasonings and stir. Add water, if needed to desired consistency. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least one hour, longer if possible. Stir frequently to avoid scorching the bottom (Chili will thin a bit during cooking, as the tomatoes cook down.) Taste and add additional chili seasoning if desired. Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese.
You can vary this recipe by adding additional or fewer cans of diced tomatoes. You can use “chili ready” tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes and/or tomatoes seasoned with peppers. You can use any style beans; chili-style, navy, white, black or kidney. You can add another can of beans to stretch the recipe. You can add more or less seasoning, or add hot sauce for extra heat. You don’t have to use the chipotle pepper seasoning, but I think it adds a nice hint of smokiness. To stretch the meal, serve over cooked pasta.
This recipe also works great in a crock pot. Make sure you brown and drain the meat, but you can add the peppers/onions raw. Cook 4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. You can’t really over-simmer this recipe.