For several years I was on the hunt for a really good chili recipe. When I was working full time and the farm was, well...milk cows take a LOT of time, sometimes chili came out of a can, yuk. I wouldn't even eat the stuff but The Husband isn't as choosy as I am. He was often too tired and too hungry to care what ended up on his plate.
In the early 90's I was working as a manufacturer's rep in the gift industry, one of the lines we represented carried some great books from a publisher. I fell in love with Hollyhocks and Radishes, it's a story style cookbook. It's filled with charming letters and sweet stories about the recipes, I know it sounds sappy but it's one of my favorite cookbooks. This cookbook is where my search for a great chili recipe ended.
It's called Snow's Chili (alias Cincinnati Chili)
ingredients I always have in my cupboard
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 15-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
2 10-ounce cans tomato soup
2 15-cans kidney beans
2 cups beef broth
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons chili powder, I use 1 tablespoon cuz I'm a huuuge spice sissy
1 teaspoon each ground allspice, cinnamon, and cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, I use 1/8 teaspoon, cuz...yeah..spice siiiissyyy
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt to taste, I hardly use any salt because the flavors are lovely for me
In my large Belgique (wahoooo, love that pan) 8 qt. pan, I saute the onions and garlic in butter and oil until soft. Add meat and cook over medium-high heat, continually stirring, until no longer pink.
Add remaining ingredients (beginning with 2 cups beef broth), and barely simmer. The recipe says to simmer for 1-3 hours. I transfer the chili to my crock pot because if i don't, I tend to forget about it and I scorch the stuff. That makes me extremely cranky, and I have no one to blame but myself. Hence the crock pot solution. I also like the fact that having a crock pot simmering on the counter in my kitchen makes me look like Beckie-Home-Eckie..I like to look like her sometimes. If I'm going to pull off the Beckie fake-out though, I need to make sure that nobody sees the lovely Belgique pan in the sink that has the scorched chili on the bottom.
See photo below, it happened....againnnnn.
So, sometimes we eat this chili "as is", but sometimes we get crazy and top it with some grated sharp cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a lovely little scattering of sliced green onions. This makes it wicked -good instead of just plain good -good. Annnnd, since I was a dairy farmer's wife for so many years I think that we should use dairy products every chance we get, besides...it makes it prettier!
Prepare: 30 minutes
Cook: 1-3 hours
Freezes very well!