You know Fall has officially arrived at our house when I have a pot of chili cooking on the stovetop. Today, I whipped up my first batch of the season and then I realized I have never posted the recipe on the blog. In fact, my Veggie Chili is posted here, but my Mom’s version needs to be appropriately swooned upon.
I guess I have been keeping it a secret way too long, but is too “Chique” not to share. In fact, I tease here that I have perfected it by doctoring it up a bit. She has always said that if you change one ingredient the recipe is yours. But, I am not ready to take full ownership of this one. So, without further ado, here it is. Enjoy and happy Fall, my friends!
Mom Famous Chili Recipe
½ white or yellow onion (today I used a red onion and 2 scallions)
2 cloves garlic
1 to 1 ½ ground sirloin (could substitute with turkey)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 small cans chili beans (hot or mild your preference)
1 small can northern white beans
1 small can kidney beans
1 small can tomato soup (her secret ingredient)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
One key element in my Mom’s recipe is to use an enameled cast iron pan like a Le Crueset or dutch oven, because it helps sear the meat, which adds flavor. Not a must, but I have an inexpensive Martha Stewart enameled cast iron one I love. First, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, then sauté on medium heat the chopped onion and crushed garlic until tender. Turn up the heat, add meat and sauté until pink is gone. Salt and pepper to taste. If you use sirloin you won’t need to drain the grease. Turkey is good too! Then add chili powder and cumin, sauté on high heat. This is when you want to really sear the meat, don’t burn it, but let it really create a good coating on the bottom of the pan. Don’t be afraid to see dark especially once you add the chili powder. Add beans, tomatoes, soup and stir. Be sure to put the juices in too. I love adding chick peas, black beans, pinto beans or cannellini beans too. Just depends on my mood. Also, I have added the Trader Joes tomato & red pepper soup as a substitute for old fashion tomato and it is delicious too. I do add corn (frozen or canned) too. Gives it a hearty Tex-Mex feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Lower heat, simmer for a couple of hours with no lid until thickened and reduced. Top with sour cream, shredded cheddar and avocado. I love to serve it with a cold beer and tortilla chips too. I think it is sometimes even better the next day. Try it and let me know!