The BEST D@mn Chili Recipe Ever!
It’s #Snowmageddon! Many in the USA woke up to cold weather and a snowy Saturday.
What a change! Just 13 days ago it was Christmas Eve 2016 and we were in shorts with 70 degree weather.
How is the weather where you live? What do you do to prepare for snowy winter weather?
I make sure we have flashlights, candles, wood for our fire, clean clothes, everything is charged and we have food.
But I want comfort food like chili or soup, hot cocoa and made from scratch cinnamon rolls.
I picked up some milk & bread!
There is always this mad dash for milk and bread in South Carolina when there is any threat of inclement weather.
And this really pokes fun at those I’ve seen push you out of their way at the grocery store just to stock up on milk & bread when this threat is announced.
In all fairness to those that have this knee jerk reaction, we have had some bad storms that have left us without power for days in the past.
So YES, I did pick up milk and bread. But really because we were out after 2 weeks off from the Christmas holiday.
As we left a grocery store, we noticed an elderly lady who looked like she needed help with her groceries.
Her walker was hanging off the cart and she was struggling to get across the parking lot. So I brought that to my daughter’s attention and asked what she thought about offering to help this lady.
She loved the idea!
So we asked this lady and she agreed to our help.
My child was SO happy to jump right in and help. I made small talk with our new friend as I set her walker up but I didn’t get her name.
I asked her if she was preparing for the snow & ice.
And she exclaimed with a “Yep! That’s why I bought all this junk.” When I scanned over her stuff I saw there were 2 tubs of ice cream, 2 large canisters of coffee, 3 boxes of cereal, a tray of iced cinnamon rolls, cans of fruit, soda, milk and a few other things.
She wasn’t kidding! We giggled with our new friend about this.
As we walked away, my daughter claimed her as her ‘new gandma.’
A Pantry Challenge
Prepping for this potential snow, I took a good look in my cupboards. They are not bare because of all of the grocery shopping I did over the holidays.
Some women have this thing for clothes, or shoes, or handbags or even makeup. I like those things too, but I have this thing for food.
Because of this food crush, I need to shop on a budget.
I recently connected with a blogger for her Pantry Challenge January 2017. Her challenge is this: cook what’s in your cupboards. Only grocery shop for things you are completely out of and nothing else.
One thing I haven’t shared here yet is the deer and fish that have recently filled my freezers. So I am totally inspired by this Pantry Challenge 2017!
Would you be interested in joining me? Let me know!
And I made the Best D@mn Chili yesterday because I think chili is always better the next day.
This IS The Best Chili- EVER!
This recipe is like no other chili I’ve eaten. The original recipe is not mine but I have changed it for this Little Kitchen Big Eats version which I am sharing.
To me this is the quintessential of cooking. I think you should cook for how you like to eat. Appeal to your taste buds. Especially if you understand how to pair flavors together.
If you don’t like a certain spice or herb then leave it out, or switch it up.
However, I DO believe there are some recipes that don’t need to be changed, altered or messed with.
And baking, well that’s a different story. You should always follow the method or recipe-always!
If you need a recipe to help you cook something new (especially if it’s from a different culture) by all means, follow it.
Beef, Pork and Venison
You can use whatever combo of ground meat you prefer or have on hand.
This recipe calls for several ingredients that work beautifully. But if you don’t have the exact, use what you’ve got.
I like smoked paprika along with some regular paprika.
Don’t have smoked paprika? No worries-just use regular paprika or spicy paprika.
This IS a ‘Chop and Drop in a pot’ kind of meal (mostly!)
Another layer of flavor here is by allowing your ground meat to brown. This is a step most people don’t do-they let it get grayish but not BROWN.
I take my meat out first and gather all the ingredients so it has time to come to room temp. Then get your large heavy duty pot out or dutch oven hot.
While your meat sears, you can chop your ingredients, open any cans of tomatoes, stock in a box, bottle of beer & wine, jars, etc.
Just allow your meat time to brown-don’t disturb it while it browns. Don’t even try to break it up. Let it get brown then break it up.
You get what I’m trying to say, right?
Just before you add the garlic, cook your tomato paste & add sofrito with your veggies.
And deglaze your pot with some dry white wine. Then some stock or water-whichever you have on hand or want to use.
I also add a can of V-8 juice here. And I leave out all spicy heat so my kids can enjoy this. BUT…
I will offer fresh or pickled pepper on the side.
I love beans-I am a bean eater.
But if you don’t like beans leave them out-add them if you do!
I don’t use can or jarred beans. But if you do, just rinse that brine off of them.
Add the rest of your ingredients: the spices and herbs and stir well. Then add back the browned meat, tomatoes, green chilies and the beer-oh the beer shines in this dish! It sings!!
Season as you go with salt & pepper but modestly because as the liquids reduce it will taste very salty later if you are heavy handed.
You can add salt again just before you serve this.
Let your chili come to a boil and stir so nothing is scorched on the bottom. Reduce to a simmer on low for an hour-stir it occasionally.
If you are serving your chili the next day (which I like to make a day ahead), allow to completely cool.
Get it out of the pot and in a casserole 9 x 13 dish (or two) to cool faster.
Then refrigerate…and the next day, this is incredible!!!
The flavors have had a chance to marry
This IS good the same day, but something about this chili served the next day is spectacular!
Don’t believe me? Give it a try-you’ll see.
I know, it’s hard to wait that long.
I like to offer rice, or crusty bread, or corn bread or corn chips with this.
I lay out a little bar of sour cream, shredded cheeses, some fresh or pickled hot peppers, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, cilantro, limes and green onions.
This recipe is a winning recipe for me and one that is requested. I had several weekends of catering this past fall.
And my chili was requested-I needed to feed 150 people and there was nothing left.
I hope you give this Best D@mn Chili Recipe (Ever) a try!
And pin away – share this on Pinterest!
Stay warm & have fun!
One cold morning after a run, I was with my running buddy and I noticed there was a can of Coors Lite unopened in my shrubs by the road. And I picked it up and looked at her and said, “I know what I’m going to do with this! I’m making the Best D@mn Chili Ever!!!”
And I did!