The snow storm that left most of the mid-west off the roads had me trapped inside my apartment. Which was good news for my roommate and I, because that meant all I could really do was cook. So I did.
There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of chili on a cold and snowy day. For those of you who are concerned, this is a lighter chili, but packs a TON of flavor (even before I drown it in buffalo sauce). Minimal ingredients, low-fat, and delicious…so why not?
I used ground round which was 85% lean and 15% fat. If you really wanted to make this even lower in fat, use ground sirloin or ground turkey, it would be just as delicious. It’s also bulked up with extra beans and tomatos. Briefly cooking the cocoa, chili powder, and tomato paste before adding the beef really helps intensify the flavors, so make sure you prepare your chili exactly as directed.
To avoid messing up, I always have everything “mise en placed”, or everything in place.
1 tbsp veg oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped (I used 4 teaspoons of minced, jarred garlic)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 lb ground round, or sirloin, or turkey
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatos in juice
2 cans (15.5 oz each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Any ingredients that you love to put on your chili ie sour cream, cheddar cheese, scallions, BUFFALO SAUCE!
In a large saucepan (I used the same pot i use to boil pasta, it was perfect) heat the veggie oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions, garlic, salt & pepper until soft, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes.
Add chili powder, cocoa powder, and tomato paste. Cook. Stirring frequently until the mixture becomes fragrant. If it looks like everything is burning to the bottom of the pan, dont freak out, your doing just fine. Do this for about a minute, then add your beef to the pot. Breaking it down with a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes. The fat from the beef will help you scrape the bits of the chili powder mixture off of the pan.
Add tomatoes (with their juice) and beans. Crank the heat up high and let it reach a boil, then turn it down and let it simmer until chili is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
That’s it. It’s that easy, with that minimal of ingredients, and it’s so good. No left overs in my house. I topped my with franks buffalo sauce. I tend to keep things simple.
Now get to cookin’!!!