This week was crazy to say the least. Hurricane Sandy hit the metro north region a few days ago and she left Manhattan and surrounding boroughs/states in shambles. A few friends and I evacuated to Harlem and were incredibly lucky to have water, power and heat post storm. My heart breaks for those who lost their homes to flooding, fires and the harsh winds. An entire neighborhood in Queens burnt to the ground, people are in desperate need of supplies and some are still being rescued. As our city starts to take steps to rebuild and find normalcy again, I thought some comfort food was in order.
Mom’s Homemade Fall Chili
– 1.5lb ground meat (at least 80% lean)
– 2 fresh garlic cloves
– 1 medium white onion
– 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5-15oz)
– 1 can tomatoe sauce (14.5-15oz)
– 2 cans kidney beans (14.5oz)
– Cayenne pepper, chili pepper, salt, basil
– 2 Bay leaves
Mince garlic cloves and dice onion into small pieces.
Heat a large pot and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once oil is heated, add the onion and garlic. Cover with a lid and sauté until onion turns transparent.
Add ground beef to the pot, chopping with a spatula until it’s broken into smaller chunks. Simmer until beef has turned brown. Once the meat has cooked, strain the mixture to remove excess fat and oil (the leaner the meat, the less fat you will have to drain).
Place the mixture back into the pot and add remaining ingredients (Including beans and tomatoes.)
Give the chili a good stir to make sure you have mixed everything well. Heat on low for 45minutes. The Cayenne will become more potent the longer the chili sits so if you prefer a spicier palette, taste after 45minutes adding small amounts until desired spiciness. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t remove it once added.
The chili can sit on low for a few hours, so this recipe works well in slow cookers if that is your preferred method. Toast whole grain bread for dipping. Enjoy!