• Dash of Hang

Classic Chili

So how these posts generally work is: I decide to make something based on my latest craving, I research different recipes, maybe even try variations resulting in a few failed attempts, scribble down what I actually cooked, then research all the history associated with what I've made. Why is this whole process relevant? Well, I just wanted to share that I learned more from other cultures through my research than any history class.

You see, no one talks about food in school. But every culture has such a rich history when it comes to food, ranging from the crops they were able to grow to techniques used for cooking.

Do you know why chili is such a favorite for campers and hikers? Well it actually is in the origins of chili. One of the methods for making chili was to combine animal fat, dried beef, chili peppers, and salt into a brick, let it sun-dry, and boil later on the trail. It's an inexpensive and not at all labor intensive process.

For us here in the modern day, chili is equally as simple to make and still just as loved. You can use a slow cooker if you're going to let it stew overnight or while you're out of the house. Otherwise, you can use a large dutch oven and simmer on the stove if you're going to have a stay-at-home day. Whichever method you use, just know that you'll need to give yourself a few hours to cook it. So if you're about to have a dinner party, you might want to start this in the morning or even the night before.

Lastly, chili is what you make of it. If you don't like black beans and prefer only kidney beans, then by all means, add what you like. Keep cooking and enjoy!

**Note: I used jalapenos (diced and seeded) in place of bell peppers. If you're not a fan of spicy foods, I recommend you nix the jalapenos and play with the color combination of the bell peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 strips of bacon, chopped

  • 2 lbs. ground beef

  • 1 large white onion, diced

  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and diced

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained

  • 1 can (15 oz) Kidney beans, drained

  • 1 can (15 oz), Pinto beans, drained

  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, do not drain

  • 3 c. beef stock

  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano

  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

  • A dash of smoked paprika

  • A dash of ground black pepper

  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder

  • A splash of Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Turn on slow cooker or set a large dutch oven pot over medium-high heat.

  2. Toss in bacon and ground beef until browned.

  3. Set aside cooked meat. Drain excess grease from the pot.

  4. Cook onions and jalapenos until tender.

  5. Add cooked meat back into the pot along with the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

  6. Turn slow cooker on low for 2 hours or turn stove down to simmer for 2 hours.

  7. Serve with shredded cheese, fried onions, cilantro, and lime.

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