When its cold outside I like to make a big pot of bubbling red chili. Making chili is a good excuse to have a casual dinner or a late afternoon impromptu party with friends and family. Everyone seems to welcome the informality. I serve my chili sprinkled with grated cheddar cheese. It's also fun to bake a batch of fresh corn muffins, and serve sliced pears with a side of salad. It's a "fill the belly" kind of meal. It feels like a celebration of winter whenever I make this dish.
We use this chili mixture but any chili powder will do. I also add an extra pinch of cumin to the mixture.
Lovely color, fun to generously sprinkle over the ingredients.
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoon canola oil on a medium heat. Add to the warm oil 1 large onion, finely chopped, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 2 stalks of chopped celery, 1 chopped green pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring well with a wooden spoon.
Add 2 lbs of ground beef or turkey, 2 cups cooked black beans to the mixture. Sprinkle the meat and vegetable mixture with 2 to 3 tablespoons of chili powder,1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Add an entire 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and 4 to 5 cups of water. (I used broth from the black bean water but if you are using canned beans add water.)
Stir the mixture well and simmer on low heat for 2 to 3 hours until sauce is the desired thickness.
I don't cook the chili until all the liquid is cooked off. I like it saucy. You have to watch the chili and decide which way to go after two hours on a low simmer.
Twenty minutes before serving add 1 to 2 cups of frozen or canned corn to the chili. Stir well. Serve hot in deep bowls or mugs. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on the top.
This recipe makes about 8 servings.