This is a pretty basic recipe for chili, but hidden under it’s simplicity is a complexity of layers that make it completely amazing. After a cold afternoon of playing outside, there is nothing better than a nice bowl of homemade chili to warm you up.! The great thing about this basic recipe is that by adding whatever extras you have in your fridge, it will be different every time.
- 1 lb. Ground Beef (Finding a local source of grass-fed beef is best, or you can buy it here.)
- 1 bag of Tomato Puree (You could also use 2 cans of organic whole stewed tomatoes.)
- 2 Cans of Kidney Beans (If I had the time, I would soak some organic kidney beans on low heat with a glug of apple cider vinegar and a spoonful of freshly ground wheat or rye flour to unlock the phytase that will break down the phytic acid. Find out why here.)
- *Veggies: Sometimes, a simple chili is best, but sometimes I like adding a bunch of veggies like zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and celery.)
- 1 Medium Onion
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
- 3 T. Butter
- 2 t. Ground Oregano
- 2 t. Ground Basil
- 2 t. Garlic Powder
- 2 t. Onion Powder
- 2 t. Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 2 t. Chili Powder
- *1 t. Cayenne Pepper (I just add this to my own personal bowl of chili so that the kids can eat it!)
- Prepare the Pan: I love using my cast iron skillet for this recipe! Let the pan slowly heat up on a low to medium setting and allow the butter to melt and coat the pan.
- Cook the Onion and Garlic: Chop up the onion, peel the garlic and crush it in a garlic press and add both to the bubbling butter. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Add the Beef: Once the onion is soft, add the ground beef. Break it apart a little bit at a time as it cooks, and flip it as each side is browned.
- Season the Meat: Once the beef is fully browned, add the garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, Real Salt, and Bragg Liquid Aminos. (I never measure out the seasonings. I just sprinkle them on the meat until it’s fairly covered. I always end up adding more than I think I should, and this gives it the best flavor.)
- DO NOT DRAIN THE FAT! THE FAT IS VERY GOOD FOR YOU!!!
- Simmer: Turn off the heat and let the meat sit covered and soaking up all of the juices while you prepare the rest of the soup. *This is the same recipe as my taco meat!
- Add Tomatoes and Beans: In a large pot, add the tomato puree and the drained cans of beans. Slowly heat them up to a low simmer on a low-medium setting (like a 4).
- Add the Beef: Add the browned beef and stir. Let it simmer on a low heat for a bit, or just eat it right away if you can’t wait!
- *Saute the Veggies: If you want to add more vegetables, don’t just dice them up and throw them in the pot! Saute each batch of veggies with a bit of oil and the same seasonings you added to the meat.
- Season to Taste: Add more of the seasonings that you added to the meat. Keep adding and tasting until you get it just right.
- Serve: Serve with some tortilla chips and fresh sour cream for a perfect meal.
There are many different ways you can make chili. Sometimes, you might just want to empty out what you have in your fridge, and other times you might want something more traditional. I think it’s fun to be able to make the same meal often, but mix it up so that it seems different. So get creative, follow your cravings, and enjoy!