mike’s chili

photo of a bowl of chili

My dad was well-known among the local Boy Scout troops for his chili, and he won a number of cookoffs, even with what seems to be such a basic recipe. It’s easily adaptable – you can use ground turkey, or even cubed sirloin if you’re so inclined. This recipe includes my one change: I use black beans instead of the kidney beans I grew up eating, and I think it improved the chili to do so.

That’s the beauty of chili, though – you can pretty much do whatever you like with it.

2 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup water
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)
1 tsp sweet paprika
3/4 tsp salt
grated cheddar cheese (as garnish)
sour cream (as garnish)

Brown meat and drain. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes, water, and spices. Cook about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans and simmer for another 20 minutes.