Delish Thursday: Chili Time Of Year In Southern Utah
My husband is amazing! He has so many great qualities. One of those qualities being that he is not a picky eater. He will eat just about anything.
There are a few (yes, only a few) exceptions. He hates liver and onions! He despises chewy, sour candy (Unbelievable). He doesn’t particularly like plums. He can’t stand the taste or smell of split pea soup. And he really, really dislikes beans.
For this reason, I hardly ever made chili, which was disappointing because I love chili. But my sweet husband patiently grinned and bore it when I would make chili every year for Halloween (of course, it helped that I promised him we would cook up hot dogs to go with it along with a lot of side dishes).
Over the years I have worked on and modified my chili recipe and have learned to make a really good chili with lots of meat and very few beans. I think my husband can honestly tell you that now he likes chili.
In fact, last time I made it, I think he had a second serving. Now that is something to celebrate!
While we are on the subject of celebrating, this chili makes a delicious dinner for a cool Halloween night. Make a pot to share with your family and friends. It is filling, zesty and oh-so-monstrously good!
Mama’s Meat-Filled Chili
- 2 pounds lean ground beef or 2 pounds stew meat (I actually add both!)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed (More or less depending on if you like beans.)
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 (7 3/4 ounce) can El Pato hot tomato sauce
- 2 to 4 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- salt to taste (1 to 3 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 chili seasoning packets
- 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)
- Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic together.
- Drain and put in a slow cooker. (If you are using stew meat as well or instead, brown the stew meat with the onion and garlic and then put it in the slow cooker.)
- Add to the slow cooker tomato paste, tomato sauces, diced tomatoes and water.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the chili powder, cumin, salt (start with a teaspoon and add more to taste as the chili cooks throughout the day), brown sugar and seasoning packets.
- Once the seasonings are mixed, stir them into the tomato/meat mixture.
- Stir in the liquid smoke if using.
- Cook on high for four hours or low for 6 to 7 hours.
- Stir every 2 or 3 hours and add a small amount of salt and water if needed.
- About an hour before you serve the chili, rinse and drain the beans and add them to the slow cooker.
- Cook for one more hour. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Delish Thursday is a KDXU weekly feature written by local St. George culinary expert Laura Squires. Laura doesn't have a restaurant or bakery, but if you've ever tasted her food, you know that she is one of the best food artists in the world! Laura has been a resident of Southern Utah for more than 30 years.