Today is the first day of the fall season that has really felt autumnal here in St. Louis. Yesterday we were in the mid 80’s but then a cold front came through overnight and now it is only 49° F today. That means it is the perfect weather for homemade chili. Everyone seems to have their own special chili recipe so I have decided to make this a linkup so that you can add a link to your own special chili recipe.
Robyn’s Homemade Chili Recipe
What finally clicked for me is to use beef broth when I make homemade chili. It adds more depth of flavor and so you are left with something heartier than if you just use water but also less tomato flavor which can sometimes be a problem I think. Just like all of my recipes, make them as you like by adding or removing what your family prefers. I cannot guarantee how this will make the end recipe taste, but I promise I am not the recipe police and I will not come and take you away. For the best results let this chili sit on the stove for several hours before eating.
Gather up your ingredients. Normally I would actually use fresh garlic, but gasp, I was out! This is a major problem in my house because I love garlic. Today I used garlic powder, not garlic salt, instead and it still does taste great. Anyone notice the typo in the photo by the way?
I have talked about onions many times and I know some of you are whining “I don’t like onions” (or someone in your family says that). Don’t skip this step – a fresh onion makes a huge difference and I promise you that you will not have any pieces of onion at the end that you bite into and can “feel” – you won’t notice these at all!
Start by splitting your onion in half. Start at the stem end and end at the root end. This gives you two halves that each have a part of each end on them still.
Now cut the stem end off and pull back the onion skin. If you pull it to the back, but not all the way off, you have an extra little handle to hold onto while you are cutting. Very handy.
Now take a sharp knife, everyone needs a good sharp chef’s knife in their kitchen, and make 3 slices into the onion half. Your knife should be parallel to the cutting board for this.
Now take your knife and make cuts starting from just before the root end out to the front cut side (where the stalk end was). Make several of these perpendicular cuts. I would say around 6-8 of them.
Finally, take your knife and slice into the onion from the side. Presto – you have chopped onion that is fairly uniform in size! This is the way I always chop onions. Super easy.
Add a bit of oil to your heated Dutch oven, we love our Lodge brand Dutch oven and we do use it on our glass top electric stove (just be careful). Now toss in those chopped onions and sauté for about 4-5 minutes or until they are soft. Don’t rush this step because this is how you are not going to have those onion pieces you hate in the end.
Once your onions are ready, add in the ground beef. I used 85/15 today, but you can use leaner or fattier if you like. Just be sure to drain the grease once it is brown. You could also use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork sausage, or even vegetarian crumbles. We use venison (deer meat) often in chili as well. Whatever suits you. I also add the first tablespoon of chili powder while I’m browning the meat. Doing this adds layers of flavor as you cook.
Once your meat is browned and drained, return to the pot and add the tomato paste and let this cook about a minute. It just makes the paste better.
Now add your two cans of tomato sauce and stir. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with your spoon when you do this as you will get those tasty browned bits doing so that have tons of flavor in them.
I use one can of black beans and one can of dark red kidney beans in my chili. Some in the house don’t like kidney beans, some don’t like black beans. They all seem to eat it though when I combine them. I don’t know why, but it works. Luckily, I like both kinds of beans. Be sure to rinse the beans off before you put them into the pot – this helps remove the gassiness from them!
Toss in the beans…stir some more.
Now add your beef broth. I usually pour some into each of the tomato paste cans and swish around to get all the rest of the sauce out of them. Then add the rest of your spices.
Stir it up and bring to a boil. I always feel like a witch when I get to this part! Once it comes to a boil reduce the heat a bit and let it sit at a good simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t worry that it is very liquidy at this point.
After 30 minutes reduce the heat to low and place the lid on askew so that it can still reduce. Check on it occasionally and give it a stir. When it is reduced to the consistency you like then put the lid completely on until you are ready to serve. You can see how much this has reduced from the two pictures above – look at side of the pot in each picture.
Serve up your homemade chili with any toppings you like. Crackers are a must in our house. Some like a little sour cream,shredded cheese, and some fresh chopped onion. Hubby is known to often have a peanut butter sandwich with his chili (I think that goes back to public school lunches) and occasionally Hubby and T like to have hot dogs and pour the chili right on top. Good news, this chili is even better on day 2!
Here is the full recipe for my chili. Don’t forget to linkup to your own chili recipe below also!
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