There’s Chilly and then there’s Chili!

There’s something about a coolish day even in Florida!  We either want to wrap ourselves up in a blanket while curled up on the couch watching movies in our pajama’s OR cook something that simmers all day and fills the house with tempting aroma’s!  The best of both worlds is just that – doing BOTH.  I have been making a family Chili Recipe for over 40 years but only when it’s “chilly”……it all started with my Grandma Nettie in the 50’s.  I inherited her passion for cooking and want to share her recipe with you!  And BTW – nothing compares to a bowl of it to warm up your taste buds AND your day!

  • 2 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • half of an onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 4 carrots, minced (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespooncumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 34 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 14-ounce cans beans, rinsed and drained (I like black beans and pinto beans)
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth (plus more to thin as needed)
  • toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, red onion, cilantro

Directions:

Mix salt with ground beef. Set aside so it can get nice and salty while you prep the other ingredients.

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, fry your bacon pieces until crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plates. Pour off most of the bacon fat, but leave 1-2 tablespoons for sauteeing.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and carrots. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef and spices. Brown until fully cooked.
  4. Add the tomato paste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and bacon. Bring to a low simmer. Cover  over low heat for at least 30-45 minutes, but ideally 2+ hours (this helps the flavors come together nicely. You can alternate between  keeping it over a low flame and just letting it rest in the hot pot. It will thicken, so use extra water or broth to thin it out to desired consistency.)
  6.  Top with all your favorite toppings. Make plans to revisit this again next Sunday.

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