15 March 2010

Grandma's Chili

It's funny how those dishes, the ones that cost only dollars to serve a family of four, are the most delicious. My grandma is an excellent cook. I think. She never really cooked for us too much growing up, but whenever she did, it was heaven. I think she felt that by the time she had begun to raise her second set of (grand)children, she had already cooked for one generation and she was basically done with that. My favorite was her version of chili. It's simple and economical, which is not unlike her, a woman who grew up during the Great Depression and raised her (first) family during WWII.

Grandma's chili (as transcribed by me over phone in a supermarket)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 t granulated garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1 can tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (or, you could stew your own like she did)
1 T chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 In a dutch oven over medium(ish) heat, brown beef.
2 Season with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in the process.
3 Remove the brown beef, and drain the grease from the meat.
4 Add in the olive oil and then the onions.
5 Add a pinch of salt to help the sweating process and cook until the onions are translucent and soft (~5 minutes).
6 Stir the tomato paste in with the onions and let it cook for a minute or so.
7 Add in the diced tomatoes along with its liquid and then add in the beef, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.
8 Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and allow to simmer, covered for at least 20 minutes. Longer is better.
9 About 10 minutes before serving, add in the kidney beans and let them heat through and absorb a bit of the flavor. Serve with saltine crackers.

This only gets better in the refrigerator. I've made this two weekends in a row to have for dinner the following week. I guess I'm starting to prep meals in advance for the future, when I'm no longer allowed to be a member of the human race and will not be allowed more than 3 hours of sleep per night. (I would be referring to the masters defense preparations)


Cara said...

Mmm this chili sounds great! I wish i had a grandma around to make me tasty food like this! hehe.

julie k h said...

My husband just took the rest of the leftovers for lunch! It's really simple and it's not *too* unhealthy if you use lean ground beef or, better yet, ground turkey.