Chilly night? Chili night! Nothing like an awesome chili on a cold winter night. I don’t know about where you are from but the temps have been well…temperamental! It’ll be so freezing one day that you need twenty minutes just to step outside for a minute then the next day your spending twenty minutes taking off your six coats because you were expecting it to be cold! Well, in the event that you land a frigid cold day, there isn’t too many dinners better to warm your body and soul than with then a nice big bowl of chili!
I’ve actually never taken the time to sit down and figure out how I make chili. I know everyone has their own philosophies, but I just kind of wing it based on the ingredients I have on hand and go from there. Sometimes it’s a little bit spicy, other times a little bit sweet and others it’s a mix of both. A new addition I’ve been doing is adding in some noodles. If done right they really add an awesome aspect to the chili. I think it’s super important to not overcook them as you definitely want them to have a good bite to them. Not only that, but pull them from boiling water a few minutes early then finish them in the chili to absorb some of the flavor. Wowza, then we are talking some good, good flavor going on!
When I decided to post my own chili I had to decide which direction I wanted to go. Trying to find my own place, I feel like tons of chili go for a spicy, overpowering kind of heat. Don’t get me wrong, spicy chili can be awesome, but I kind of wanted to showcase chili can be packed with flavor, but not necessarily spice. Thus, we are going to use some fresh herbs and spices along with a few powders to build a flavorful profile without adding hardly any heat.
The flavor profile includes; fresh thyme, garlic, onions, red peppers, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon (yes, cinnamon!), cayenne pepper (trust me it doesn’t make it spicy), brown sugar, annnd of course salt and freshly ground black pepper. This mixed in with your typical chili base of ground beef, beans and tomato sauce are going to meld together to create an amazing chili that I just know you’ll love if you get to make it! Not only that, top it would cheese, fresh onion and sour cream you get something that’s just simply heartwarmingly delicious!
We actually made this dish up a few days ago, had it for dinner and I had made so much I planned to freeze it. The next day our nephew was over to spend the night. We gave him some that night and he loved it so much that he asked for it the next day, making three days in a row this chili became a meal for us! So, I guess you could say it’s kid (and adult) approved! Plus having it three days in a row and not getting bored of it, hopefully, gives some sort of credit. But don’t take my word for it, give this chili a go and hopefully it’s as good as I’m playing it up to be!
One thing I think you can’t go wrong with chili is simmering it for an extended period of time. This really moved the flavor throughout the dish and elevates everything within it. Just do the simmering before you put in the noodles as to not overcook them. Because overcooked noodles are mushy bad news bears. That said, I call for at least 20 minutes but up to an hour or more would be even better. Of course, my favorite part of chili is how it gets even better the next day. Of course I’m not going to just make chili and not eat it, but if I make a ton I can guarantee some of the best leftovers around.
Well enough about me, what about you? What’s your favorite secret ingredient or method to making chili that you think puts yours above others? There’s so many chili cook offs and contests, some folks live and breath chili so what have you got to offer! I’d love to try out any suggestions if you have any. Thanks for reading this post and I hope ya try out my recipe. As always, any questions, comment below! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Full-Flavor Low-Heat Chili
Chili packed with flavor without the heat. Slightly sweet but still totally bold. Perfect for cold Winter nights.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 8 ounces medium shell pasta
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
- 1 (15 oz) can of pinto beans (drained)
- 1 (15.5 oz) can of red kidney beans (drained)
- 1 1/2 T chili powder
- 2T brownsugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp worchestire sauce
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 T freshly squeeze lemon juice
- Sour cream (garnish)
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (garnish)
- freshly dicied onion (garnish)
- Step 1 Add vegetable oil to pot and heat on medium heat
- Step 2 Add onions, pepper and thyme. Cook until onions are slightly softened then add garlic.
- Step 3 Cook until garlic is fragrant (about 15 seconds), then add ground beef. Cook until browned.
- Step 4 Add tomato sauce, both beans and stir to combined.
- Step 5 Add chili powder, brown sugar, oregano, worcestire sauce, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Step 6 Mix until well combined, heat until bubbling then lower heat. Cook for 20 minutes to an hour, uncovered.
- Step 7 Meanwhile, boil a pot of salted water and cook pasta until a few minutes prior to being al dente.
- Step 8 After chili is done simmering, add pasta and simmer until pasta is al dente.
- Step 9 Serve chili and garnish with onion, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
- Step 10 Enjoy!