What's For Dinner Issue #2
Chili, The Best Meal For Those Cold Winter Days!
Though this series is for quick meals, this one will take time to cook, but easy to prepare. Everyone knows that chili taste even better after it has set a day, It will serve up to twelve people. So with those things in mind, know this is a great recipe to fix on one of those days you are home and can freeze the extra for a quick meal on those hectic days!
Chili has been an all time favorite and very filling and satisfying. This recipe can be easily altered to your varied taste, such as; adding green peppers or even hot peppers or sweet corn. It is also versatile in ways to serve it up. You can serve with corn bread, or my favorite, Indian fry bread, as well as serving over your favorite noodles and top with your favorite shredded cheese.
- 6 - 10 cups water
- 1 cube cumin bullion
- 1 cube onion bullion
- 1 cube garlic bullion
- 16 oz dry red kidney beans
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb sage sausage
- 1/2 onion, diced
- one 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- one 14 oz can tomato sauce or juice
- to taste pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
- PREPARE THE BEANS: In large stock pot, add six cups of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the boil begins, turn heat down to medium and add crush bullion of cumin, garlic and onion along with 1/2 to 3/4 of the bag of dried red kidney beans. Let cook, covered, for an hour then add the rest of the bag of beans. Continue to cook until beans are just starting to soften yet still slightly crunchy. Depending on the beans and environment, this could take another hour or so. Also check on the beans throughout the cooking process. If the water cooks away be sure to add a cup or two of hot water and continue to cook.
- THE MEAT: When beans are almost done, brown in large fry pan the sausage then drain. Discard any grease left in the fry pan, but do not clean. The sausage will add flavor to the beef that you will brown next in that same pan. Drain your beef. Set both aside as you prepare the stock.
- THE SOUP BASE: In a crock pot, add can of diced tomatoes, can of tomato sauce or 14 to 16 oz of tomato juice or vegetable juice. Depending on how chili you like your chili powder, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chili. Mix in the meat and then the beans including the bean broth, along with your diced onions. You can add more water if you like your soup to be thinner. Cook for an hour on high, then turn temp down to low and let cook for another hour or two, until the beans are tender.
- DINNER IS READY! You can serve your soup with easy to fix grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches or with your favorite crackers, fry bread or cornbread. I really like the cornbread made with jalapenos and chili served on top! Enjoy!
THINGS TO NOTE!
This recipe can be made easier by using two cans of chili or red kidney beans. This will cut the cooking time by a few hours. I like the dry beans because I can flavor them with the cumin, garlic and onion to my taste. I general add more dry beans an hour after cooking because the beans eventually break down and becomes the thickness in the chili. That way I will have meaty beans left to sink the teeth into, I add more dry beans to the mix to slow down their cooking. If you choose to use the can beans, then be sure to add to the mix a teaspoon of cumin, some minced garlic and more diced onion and start out by frying the meat instead of cooking dry beans.
Also, you do not have to use a crock pot. You can simple add the rest of the chili mix to the pot you cook your beans in or a big stew pot if you use can beans. I like the crock pot, because I can walk away and let it cook. If I use a pot on the stove then the cooking temp needs to be at a simmer and you need to stir throughout the process to insure that you do not burn the bottom. Nothing is worse than ruining a great pot of chili with burnt beans!
If you use the spice bullion, note that no other salt is needed! Bullion has plenty of salt already in its mix. If you choose to forgo the bullion then additional salt will be required. If you are the type who likes their chili real spicy then exchange the sage sausage for the hot sausage! You can always cool those taste buds off with some cucumber salad!
Before you start to fry your meat, you can go ahead and start the soup base of tomatoes and tomato sauce or tomato/vegetable juice with the onions and chili powder in the crock pot, then add the meat after it is drained.
And as noted before, freeze the left overs! They will taste even better the second time around. Chili powder is magical that way! With those same left overs, you can create other dishes like chili pie with easy jiffy cornbread mix or cook noodles and mix all into a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake in the oven. Or, you can top the old hotdog favorite with the chili. These are the dishes that make for a quick and easy meal on those days you wish to have more time to relax.