Take liberties with this recipe, just don’t add beans
I was raised in a house divided. My father was from Texas; my mother the Midwest. And I grew up eating beans in my chili. The presence of beans didn’t instigate a showdown at the stove or obvious irritation at the table. But now, having lived in Texas more than 25 years, and eaten more bowls of beanless chili than I can count, I wonder how my mom first snuck those beans into the pot or how my parents arrived at this compromise.
This is my husband’s go-to chili. A Texan all his life, my husband makes no mention of beans in his recipe. It isn’t complicated, nor has it won any awards on the competition circuit. But it’s tasty, quick and perfect for a fall day.
1½ pounds ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups beef broth
½ cup brewed coffee
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and crackers
Add the ground beef, onion and bell pepper to a large, deep pot and cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. When meat is cooked through, drain most of the fat from the pan.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for at least an hour. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors both deepen and blend.
Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and crackers.