Is there anything better on a cold winter’s night than a bowl of hot chili with a slab of warm, fresh baked cornbread??? Maybe, but chili is up there! On this particular occasion, I was cooking on the weekend and decided to get creative and invest a little more time into my concoction, but chili can be as easy as throwing some ingredients into the crock pot too, so don’t let it intimidate you! I just find chili in any shape or form to be a very satisfying one pot meal! And not to brag,but I did win 2nd place in my church’s chili cook off a few years ago! LOL!
I’ve been trying to make better use of the few overpriced attachments I have for my Kitchen Aid mixer. One my husband bought me is the food grinder, so for this batch of chili, I decided to grind my own meat. I had some nice top sirloin steaks on hand that looked so nice and lean, I figured I would give that a whirl. You could also use ground beef or ground turkey, if you’re trying to keep the fat level down. I use the turkey quite frequently.
I also decided to jazz this version up by adding some roasted tomatillos and fresh peppers. This also isn’t necessary, if you’re trying to keep it quick and simple, but it sure adds a wonderful layer of flavor!
Now for the big debate! Chili purists will tell you if there are beans in it, it’s not chili! OK, good for you! Personally, I like beans in mine. I’m usually making chili hoping for a hearty dinner and the beans add to that. Plus, beans are really good for you!
Without further ado…
Kel’s Homemade Chili
1.5 pounds ground meat (As mentioned above, I chose to grind top sirloin steak. I ran it through my Kitchen Aid grinder attachment twice)
4 Serrano chilies
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced or pressed
1 – 14.5 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes in puree
1-4 oz can tomato paste
2-3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
If you’re going to grind your own meat, cut your meat into chunks small enough to feed into your grinder. Feed a few pieces in at a time pushing them through the grinder. I ground all my meat once and then ran it all through a second time.
Spray a skillet or frying pan with olive oil and brown your tomatillos turning frequently. Your tomatillo’s skin will brown in spots and they should start to soften. When tomatillos are almost done, add your fresh chilies. I used serranos, but you could use any type. Just keep in mind the amount of spice you want in your chili. When tomatillos and chilies have softened, remove from heat and allow to cool. While these are cooling you can begin to brown your meat. I used my Dutch oven. You can also use a big pot. You want something that you can simmer your chili in without scorching and that has a cover. When meat is almost browned, drain off any fat. This sirloin steak was so lean, I did not have any fat to drain off. When meat is almost cooked, add your onions, garlic and red pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened and reduce heat to simmer.
Once cooled a bit, cut the stems off your chilies and put in a food processor or blender and add whole tomatillos. Pulse/blend tomatillos and chiles until well blended and fairly smooth. You don’t want to get a huge church of chili in on bite! Add blended mixture to meat mixture.
Add remaining ingredients to your mixture and stir well. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook for at least an hour. I like to let my chili simmer for a while, kind of like my marinara sauce. You can even use your slow cooker. I think cooking it on low for a longer period really allows the flavors to mingle and develop.
I like to serve my chili with a side of cornbread. On this occasion, I used a Marie Callendar cornbread mix and added jalapenos and fat free cheddar cheese to it.
I offered fat free sour cream, fat free shredded cheddar, pickled jalapenos and cilantro as garnishes for the chili. Delicious!!!