Saturday night I was feeling a touch under the weather so in an effort to make myself feel better, I decided to cook up a batch of chili.  Also, Miguel was coming over after his shift ended at midnight and I figured he’d appreciate something warm after a cold night patroling the mean streets of West Roxbury.

Thought I would share my chili recipe here since it generally gets very good reviews.  It has evolved over time as I’ve combined and edited about 8 different recipes.  The base comes from my best friend Effie’s mom and I’ve gradually been tweaking it over the years and now feel it is finally ready to be revealed.  Hope you like it!  (And if you do try it, definitely let me know what you think!)

You’ll need:

1.5- 2 lbs ground beef (I always use the least fatty package I can find)

1 stick of butter

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium red onion, diced

5+ cloves garlic (Miguel and I REALLY like garlic so we tend to use a lot but you can adjust to your own specifications)

1 15oz can dark red kidney beans, drained

1 15 oz can black beans, drained

1 15oz can Mexican stewed tomatoes, DO NOT DRAIN

3-4 cans V-8 Hot & Spicy (the more cans you add, the spicier it will be, though even 4 will not make it unbearable)

1 packet chili seasoning

In a large soup pot or dutch oven (I use a 6 qt Le Creuset dutch oven), melt the butter and brown the meat.   Add onion, pepper and garlic and saute until softened.  Add both cans of beans and stewed tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then add the V-8 and the chili seasoning.  Stir until well-blended, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for at least an hour.  Then, to thicken, remove cover and continue to cook on low for another half hour or so.

I like to serve chili with lots of toppings and sides.  My favorites are:

avocado slices

diced scallions

grated pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese

multi-grain Tostitos

corn muffin tops (mix up a box of standard corn bread batter and spoon onto a cookie sheet instead of using a muffin tin then just place on top of bowl of chili- Miguel’s favorite)

Tonight we’re going to be making meatloaf, perfect for a snowy winter evening.  Recipe to follow so stay tuned!