Hahaha! Sorry, I just can't stop myself with the bad chili jokes. And no matter how old and tired they are, Sweetie Pie and I just have to regale each other when them. But no joke, this was darned good chili. First thing Sweetie Pie said, hey, if it makes your nose run and your eyes water, it's gonna be good. Well, that's one measure I guess, grins. This chili is can be as spicy or as mild as you like, just adjust the hot stuff up and down to your liking. We're still newbies at spicy, but are slowly appreciating it more and more, to the point that some of our New England favorites are tasting kind of bland.
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained of fat
1 large onion, chopped
1 14-oz can diced tomato, undrained 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh, minced)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Optional: pinto, kidney, black beans (or other beans) drained, added 10 minutes before end of cooking,
Add all ingredients into a large pot. Simmer 30 minutes or until thickened. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
A good dollop of sour cream and some grated cheddar or jack cheese is nice. Smooths out the spiciness and adds a nice mouth feel.
Chili is pretty versatile and you can customize it according to your taste. Some add jalapenos, corn, celery (really?!), green peppers. We tend to be more straightforward, though beans are often considered chili sacrilege.
COOK'S NOTE: A regional ingredient that wasn't called for in the original recipe but makes a nice addition is an ingredient called masa harina. It's limed, ground corn and is not the same as the ground corn that is used to make hoe cakes, johnny cakes, cornbread, and so on. I use it to make corn tortillas and someday tamales. Anyway, it's addition to chili is used to thicken the chili and adds a touch of sweetness. For some chili lovers it's the missing ingredient in really good chili and we seem to fall into that category. I started with a tablespoon, let it cook four or five minutes to see the thickness, and added more until I received a thickness that was pleasing to me. This chili was even better the second day and freezes well. Believe it or not, it's good in place of regular spaghetti sauce and is delicious mixed with rice. Mmm!