I prefer making quick-fix recipes, but chili is one of my exceptions. Though it only takes about 20 minutes for all the elements in any chili to cook through, a long simmering time is essential–to allow time for the beans to break down and thicken the sauce. This recipe as written has a mildly spicy kick. Give it “medium”, fan-your-mouth heat by leaving the jalapeño core intact before dicing. For the thrill-seekers, try “hot” heat by doubling the chili powder too. I always garnish with Monterey Jack cheese… except for the time I took a photo of it (above); I was all out. Turns out avocado is a good substitute for the creamy, cooling relief of melty cheese on a spicy chili.
1 pound ground beef
1 medium (6-ounce) onion, chopped
1 large (2 ounces) jalapeño, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
30 ounces canned kidney beans
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1 ounce fresh cilantro
large (5-quart) pot
1. Place beef, onion, jalapeño, and garlic in pot over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink.
2. Add beans and tomatoes. Season with cumin, oregano, salt, and cayenne. Stir well, then let cook until boiling.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until liquid reduces by half – about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, shred cheese and chop cilantro.
4. Serve garnished with cheese and cilantro.
NOTES & TIPS
• Try serving with dollop of salsa fresca.