Because I loathe having to scroll through a loooooong post searching for the recipe, I’ve decided to include all my recipes FIRST. You’re welcome.
Ground Beef Chili
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
1 pound ground beef
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 32 oz container beef broth
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1) Heat large pot over medium heat.
2) Add ground beef and cook until meat is fully browned.
3) Remove meat from pot with slotted spoon and transfer it to a bowl, keeping the leftover fat in the pot.
4) Reduce heat to medium low and add onions, garlic, bell peppers, spices, and seasonings to the pot.
5) Cook until the onions are translucent and bell peppers are tender, about 5 minutes.
6) Add tomatoes (do not drain), diced potatoes, broth, and meat to the pot and turn the heat up to high.
7) When the chili reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for an hour.
And so begins my venture into food blogging.
When I got married over three years ago, there were two things that completely shocked me: how much I would have to A) Clean, and B) Cook. I wasn’t naive to the fact that I would have to do those things, but I was completely blindsided by how much of those things I would be doing, everyday.
I was pretty good at the cleaning part (thanks, Mom), but I never realized that my idea of “cooking” was “I can boil tortellini” or “I can pop some frozen garlic bread in the oven.” I’m not sure I ever made anything from scratch, so let’s just say when I got married and started cooking everyday, I was awful.
I have to admit, I lucked out. Nick had been living on his own for about 6 months at that point, and had sparked an interest in cooking. He spent hours watching Good Eats, and thanks to good ‘ol Alton Brown, he had learned a thing or two more than my novice self.
But I was stubborn. I thought I knew it all, and would often get offended when Nick would offer up his help in the kitchen, as if I didn’t know what I was doing.
But I didn’t. I didn’t know anything, and looking back now I realize that (and have thoroughly apologized to my ever-so patient husband).
And thus began my journey into learning how to cook.
Since then, after many lessons from Nick, lots of Good Eats episodes, and hours upon hours searching for good recipes on Pinterest and the Internet, I have been told on a few occasions that I am actually (by the grace of God himself) quite good, and have been nudged to share my recipes and tips. So, here I am!
Let’s start with a few things:
- I am a huge fan of simplicity. If a recipe is quick, easy, AND tastes good, it’s a winner in my book. Bonus points awarded if it results in minimal dishes to clean!
- Spices and seasonings are nine times out of ten what make the dish. I learned this after realizing how bland my dishes were in the very beginning, and have since acquired an impressive spice rack (and continue to add to it on a regular basis).
- You don’t need a fancy kitchen to make good food. I cooked in a tiny apartment kitchen for over a year, not to mention I still only own 2 pots and one pan. If I can do it, you got this!
So here’s one of my go-to recipes: chili. I’m pretty sure I’ve never known anyone who didn’t like chili. It’s warm, delicious, full of flavor, and oh so filling. Chili can be made hundreds of different ways, which I think is an advantage: you can’t really make it wrong, which means it’s a good first recipe to sink our teeth into (buh-duh-tssss).
Why do I like this recipe? Well, it’s got no beans. Cue dramatic music. No BEANS!? Yup, no beans. Why do I like that? Well, first of all, Nick doesn’t like beans, and I guess that’s something that’s always been a good challenge for me – adapting to someone else’s preferences. Second, we aaaaaaall know what beans can do to you, and when you’re nursing a baby, the same rule applies. So although I like beans, I’m cool with the fact they aren’t included in this version of chili.
Instead of beans, I use potatoes. It’s a little non-traditional for beef chili, but adds the same fill-you-up element that beans do, without the side effects.
One of the best things about this recipe is it’s a one-pot wonder. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
Last but not least, it’s Whole 30 approved. What does that mean? Well, it’s gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, etc. Basically, it’s just really wholesome. I’ll be honest, I never finished Whole 30, but I did adapt some of the techniques of healthy eating into my cooking, and this is my favorite.
Alright, here we go!
Rule #1, prep ingredients FIRST. Chop the onion, mince the [2 cloves of] garlic, cut up the  bell peppers, and dice and peel (or not peel, if you prefer) the potato, in that order. Maybe I’m just being picky, but I’ve made this enough times to know that if you mince the garlic first, it sticks to the bowl I put it in and it’s just annoying trying to get every little piece into the pot. Also, if you dice the potato early, it starts to turn pink/red/brown (which is, as Alton Brown would say, not good eats). You can slow or even prevent that process by using a ceramic knife to dice your potato, but more on that in a later blog. Also make sure you do dice your potato, instead of cube. The little bits are easier to eat (and cook faster, if you’re impatient like me).
Now that you’ve prepped your ingredients, heat up your pot on medium and cook up your ground beef. I’ve also made this recipe with turkey and even shredded chicken – just add a couple tablespoons of olive oil before you use either of those. I prefer ground beef of course (mostly because we bought a quarter of a cow a while back and the beef is unlike any other), but if you’re opting for an even healthier option, turkey or chicken are good ways to go!
Once the beef is thoroughly browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and leave the fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium low and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, then throw in and mix your onions, garlic, bell peppers, spices, and seasonings (2 tsp each of chili powder and cumin, and 1 tsp each of mustard powder, paprika, and salt). If you want a spicier chili, add more chili powder and cumin. If it looks like the veggies are too dry and need more liquid to cook, feel free to add a little more olive oil. Should only take 5 minutes or a little longer to get them tender.
Once your veggies are done cooking, add the can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained. I like the petite diced because I don’t like getting a huge chunk of tomato in my bite of chili. Then add back in the ground beef, and the potatoes and broth. I like my chili a little soupier than most, but if you like yours thick, I believe the original recipe only called for 2 cups. Part of the reason I use the whole container is likely because the rest usually sits in my fridge and goes to waste before I remember it’s there!
Bring the heat back up to high and, once it begins to boil, reduce it to a simmer and leave it uncovered for an hour.
Okay, okay, I usually don’t wait an hour. Like I said, I get pretty impatient, especially if what I’m making smells amazing, so once the potatoes are nice and cooked through you are good to go. But if you want to wait a little longer for the flavors to come together, that’s fine, too. If you’re cool with throwing the Whole 30 aspect out the window, you can also serve it with sour cream, cheese, and saltines (0% Fage brand non-fat, unsweetened yogurt is a healthier alternative to sour cream, and you honestly can’t even tell the difference, if you want to try it out).
And as a word to the wise, I usually don’t make one batch. I whip out my stock pot and do a double. Why? Everyone knows chili makes the BEST leftovers. And this chili is no exception. My husband actually prefers chili the next day, so do yourself a favor and make LOTS.
Let me know if you made this and how it turned out in the comments below! Heck, even if you just read the post, let me know! Cooking (and baking for that matter) has become a passion of mine, and that coupled with my love for writing is honestly the perfect combination. I am so looking forward to embarking on this food blogging journey with you all!
~Leah Artman ♥