Friday, October 7, 2011

Homemade chili

I've made chili a trillion gazillion times before but have never really written down the recipe.  It's sort of a throw everything you have in there and keep tasting till it's right type of thing.  This was no different...except I finally kept track of what I put in there!  I remember making chili my first time and not really having a recipe to follow, so I thought it might make it easier on some of you that may have never made it before, to have the basics laid out since I may or may not have been asked for a recipe in the past (ahem, Brandy Sue).  :)

I made a ginormous batch in our huge stock pot.  I wanted a full crockpot for tailgating, plus a full crockpot to freeze for another tailgate down the road. I will be gone for one of the games in November, so this way there will be food for the drunk boys to eat while I'm gone. If I left it up to them, they would bring beer and vodka and that doesn't bode well for anyone!  The leftovers will be great to pull out and thaw for a nice November gameday....

4 lbs ground beef, browned

6 lb BOOMSY sized can of chili beans from Sam's Club (don't drain the juice!)

4 cans crushed tomatoes

3 cans tomato paste

2 cans mushrooms, drained (would have used fresh if I had them on hand, the more fresh stuff you can add to your chili, the better)
10 jalapenos, diced (seeds left won't be that hot with as much other stuff you're cramming into the pot)
2 diced onions
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes, because we're are STILL trying to get rid of these, they won't stop growing in the garden!
20 tomatoes worth of juice, pureed from fresh tomatoes from the garden.  These were boiled and put in ice water so the skin and bad parts could be removed easier, and then put in a food processor/blender to liquify.  Step by step directions on HOW TO make the tomato juice are linked here.  If you don't want to take the time to do this part, you can use a couple cans of tomato sauce instead.
Season how you would like, but I use a special chili powder from Arizona (which I am almost out of sadly) to spice this chili up, as well as a few T of jalapeno salt.  The best way to season chili is to keep tasting and adding as you like it.  Some people love some heat and others don't, regulating your seasoning is the way to make sure you don't get a surprise ending when your chili is done.

Add everything to the pot to bring to a boil, and then simmer on low for as long as possible.  I was very happy with how this turned out.  Had it been for just Justin and I, I would've added some more heat, but since we were serving a large group (plus one special pregnant chick), I wanted to be sure I wouldn't kill anyone.  Nothing says Fall and gameday quite like a little pot of chili....

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