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Your Basic Chili with Beans

2 tablespoons oil

3 pounds ground or coarsely ground beef chuck or sirloin

2 to 3 medium onions, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on taste

2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste

2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans

Heat the oil in large pot, over medium-high heat. Sauté the beef in 3 batches, making sure each batch is thoroughly browned. When all the beef has been browned, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat, then return the meat to the pot, along with the onion, pepper and garlic. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano, cumin, chili powder, tomato paste and 1 quart water; stir well. Simmer, covered for 1 hour. Remove lid, add the pinto beans and simmer for an additional hour to hour and a half. More water may need to be added during the second hour of simmering, but the finished chili should be relatively thick and rich in flavor. Adjust seasonings, adding salt as needed.

Makes about 8 servings.