We are in the throes of football season around here. Derek and I are fans of both college and the pros, rooting together for our alma mater, even though they are pretty horrible this season. But come Sunday, we’re like many households out there, watching the NFL.
Having grown up in New York during the heyday of Lawrence Taylor, Derek is a tried and true Giants fan. I wasn’t really exposed to football growing up, so once I moved to D.C. post-college, I adopted the Redskins as “my” team. This has caused some tension in our household. I believe the exact word that Derek used was “traitor” when I announced my new-found team allegiance.
But come Sunday, regardless of who we are rooting for, we do agree on what constitutes “football food.” Be it hot wings or a hearty beef stew, filling comfort food seems to fit the bill. Chili is no exception. This chili recipe can be changed in numerous ways. Use turkey or make it vegetarian by adding more beans. Kick up the spice by adding some chopped up chipotles in adobo. And of course, change up the toppings to make it truly customizable. And don’t forget the corn bread!
2 tablespoons oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1.5 – 2 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, pork/sausage)
1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 or 2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can broth (beef, chicken or veggie)
1 small can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 -1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
In a large pot (6 quart), heat the oil over medium heat and cook onions, green pepper and garlic. Add the meat when vegetables are tender and brown. When meat is cooked, add the remaining ingredients. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to simmer and let cook for about an hour without a cover so that it can thicken up. Make sure to stir occasionally. Taste for seasoning (I usually need to add about 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt) and serve with cornbread and your favorite chili fixings (sour cream, green onion, cheese, etc.).