A Chili For Football Season
In life, we just want everything to be simple and easy when it comes to food. Especially when it comes to serving a group. Right? Many recipes call for ingredients that are usually not found in everyday kitchens, causing many people to run out to the store for something impressive, and fancy sounding, that really is not easy to find (unless you run to a special store, or venture in to that part of a store you never have been to before, or just rarely explore through) or common in most kitchens. This chili is impressive in a contest, and can be easily changed to a vegan style, if need be. Most of the ingredients are common, and can be found in most kitchens. It is pretty flexible, if you ask me, and can be changed to suit any taste, be it very spicy, or not too spicy. But in the end, it turns out to be pretty amazing, easy, and quite delicious. It makes people want to come back for more!
- 2 lbs Ground beef (Or any ground up meat), (This is completely optional, and can be left out for a vegan option.)
- 1 Medium sized onion, diced
- 8 oz. Pepperoncini or Banana peppers, (from jar; mild, medium, or hot. Your choice.)
- 2 Cans of kidney beans (or 2 cups of dried kidney beans from a bag), (If using dried, be sure to soak your beans for a while beforehand)
- 1 Medium sized green bell pepper, diced
- 2 premade chili seasoning packets
- 1 Jar of salsa, (Your choice. But with many flavors out there, it will change the chili results.)
- 4 Teaspoons of hot sauce, (Optional.)
- 1 (Small) Can of Tomatoes, (Optional; Diced works nice, whole is chunky and juicy. Your choice.)
- 1 Package of, (Optional)
And Now To Bring It All Together...
- To note upon starting... This chili, being flexible, can be slow cooked or it can be cooked in a hurry. If you want something with a lot of flavor, take your time cooking it. You can slow cook this up to 5 hours or so, for amazing flavor. If you cook it in about an hour or so, it will have less flavor to it. Cast iron works wonders with this, as well. But it also can be made in any soup pot, including a crock pot. (Again, flexible!)
- Start by cooking the onions and green peppers in a your soup pan, or cast iron pot (or whichever you plan to cook with), until they are half way through being cooked. If you are using meat, add it in with the onions and green peppers, to cook and brown the meat a bit.
- Open the pre-made chili seasonings packet and follow the directions on the back of it. Some call for using water. Some do not. If you want to substitute water for beer, then that is okay. Just don't add too much beer as it will change the results of the chili and cause it to need to be boiled down. (I prefer to use water, but I have a sibling who prefers using beer. To each, their own.)
- If you have not added the kidney beans, do so now. Using two cans should be enough, or two cups of the dried kidney beans, which have been pre-soaked. You can add in the water from the cans, or 1 cup of water if you have gone the route with the pre-soaked kidney beans.
- Take about half of the small jar of banana peppers (or more or less, to taste) and drain some of the juice in to the pot. Be careful as to not get the seeds in to the chili, if the jar contains seeds. Dice the banana peppers so they aren't so chunky. Although, if you want them to be chunky, then that is okay as well.
- Add about half of the jar of the salsa you have chosen. (I usually vary between a spicy salsa, and plain salsa. Although, I have used a pomegranate salsa and it has come out sweet, but spicy.) This will give it some tomatoes, and other veggies.
- If you choose to use anything listed as optional, add that in now. Using hot sauce, or black pepper will add a bit more of a spicy flare to it. (Another more or less option, depending on your tastes.) And adding the tomatoes will soak up the flavors while adding flavors. (Again, this varies on how long you plan to cook this all for.) Be sure to drain the water from the tomatoes, as they are quite watery as is, without the canned water. (Side note... Be careful with how much you alter the addition or subtraction of ingredients. It may become too spicy and flavorless, or not spicy and bland. It is not a sensitive recipe where it becomes easily thrown off, but too much or too less of something will definitely do so.)
- Stir all ingredients in the pot, and continue to cook on a simmer setting. If you find that your chili has too much water, you can boil it down. Just make sure to stir it often, as it can burn easily. If you find that there is not enough water, add a little at a time, until it reaches a thinner consistency. Your chili should be at a consistency that is not too watery and yet, not too thick. To spare cleaning up a huge splotchy mess, cover the pot with a lid.
- After about an hour of cooking, it should be ready to eat. Although, if you want a lot of flavor, continue to cook for about four to five more hours. Monitor the consistency levels often, as you stir. It may boil down and become too thick, and burn. If you do this by using a slow cooker of some sort, you may not need to check it as often, since the water retains itself.
- Also to note... The banana peppers and green bell peppers may take a bit of a time to cook. The longer the chili cooks, the more cooked and softer they become, and the more they release flavor.
- If you feel that the chili is done enough to your liking... Then it is time to enjoy! You can add shredded "mexican cheese" on to the chili in your bowl, or any shredded cheese of your liking. This recipe also is good with buttered bread, and amazing when the buttered bread is dipped in to it. And is with any food, take caution as it is hot, from cooking on the stove. Please, try not to burn yourself. Enjoy!
© 2015 Kryssy Bruckheimer