Lovely Thick and Wholesome Chili
Chili is a wild child. It can be thin and soupy, or thick as it can be. We’ve had it with spaghetti beneath it and just beef and hand-roasted peppers. Some like brisket, some like ground beef. I’ve had it with chicken, occasionally some pork, as well. A few have beans, others don’t. Is there a one and only chili? Maybe so, but I’d guess that just about everyone I know would have a different opinion as to which one that is. So that said, this chili is one of my favorites and it’s a thick, meaty chili with a lovely garnish of chopped onions, Cheddar and a bit of lime juice.
The key to this chili is that it has a slightly (very slightly) corn flavor that, if your not looking for it, the chances are you’ll never know it’s there. It comes from a quarter cup of masa harina, a thin corn powder, from the Spanish section of the grocery store, that when mixed with water also helps give the chili its thick texture, to boot. What ever you do, don’t try this without the masa harina, however. It really doesn’t work well without it.
And after all, we do have Cinco de Mayo coming up soon…
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can diced tomato (fresh if you have them)
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup masa harina (fine corn powder from the Spanish section of the grocery)
- One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
- Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic, onions, and red peppers. Cook over medium heat until browned.
- Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.
- Place the masa harina in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup water and stir together. Add the masa mixture into the chili and stir together well
- Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve with shredded Cheddar, chopped onions, and lime wedges.