When my sister and I shared an apartment all those years ago, we always had a pot of chili in our fridge. For us, it was the ultimate single girls go-to meal. We would make a big batch which would feed us for most of the week. Not having to worry about what to make for dinner left our minds free to think about more important things… like what to do on the weekends. All good things must come to an end, and eventually, our apartment sharing days were over and our weekly chili routine was abandoned.
I honestly have not made chili in so long that I had forgotten how good it was. This version uses dried chilies because they are easily found where I live. If you cant find dried chilies, sub regular chili powder. The taste will be a little different, which will make this recipe your own.
All you need to round this meal out is a big green salad.
Serves 4, but you can easily double it and it freezes very well.
Chili with Baked Potatoes
1 Tablespoon oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 dried ancho chilies, seeds & stems removed
14 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
1 whole dried chipotle chile or 1 Tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo, minced
1 – 16oz can black beans (do not drain) or 2 cups prepared pinto beans, with some broth
1 1/2 cups water
4 medium potatoes, “baked” in microwave
Sliced scallions, grated cheese, sour cream for topping
Remove stems and seeds from the ancho chiles and tear into large pieces. Place in heatproof bowl and add 1 cup boiling water. Set aside.
In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring often to break up any lumps – about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, paprika, cumin and ground pepper. Cook, stirring until onion is soft and spices are fragrant – about 4 minutes.
Put the ancho chilies and their soaking liquid into blender. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and Worchestershire sauce. Blend on high until smooth. About 45 seconds.
Add chili mixture to ground beef. Stir in beans, the whole chipotle chili (yes, just leave it whole) and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, stir occasionally and let simmer, uncovered for 1 hour, until liquid is reduced and chili has thickened. Remove the whole chipotle before serving.
To serve, place potato on plate, open it up and spoon chili over it. Top as you like with grated cheese, sour cream and scallions. Or any other topping you can dream up.