Michelle's Married Chili
Texas Chili Served up Cincinnati Style
My take on Jen's almost famous chili
These two ladies that I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the past year, are business partners and bloggers for "Pouch Party". I love their honesty, I love their twist on life, and most of all, I love their kitchen skills. They had a "Soup Week" a few weeks back, which featured their twists on Jen's Practically Famous Beef Tip Chili and Nikki's Ground Turkey & TVP Chili. I couldn't participate in the entire cook-along, but I did want to participate, to support them and all. I know I'm a good cook. But my style of cooking rarely utilizes specific measurements. I always take a recipe and toss my own spin onto it. Anyhow, by looking at Jen and Nikki's recipes, I kind of giggled to myself, as I do a few of their secret tips in what I call my "Married Chili".
Married because, before I was married, I had my own style of chili, chunky, super garlicey and onioney with layers of heat... I use garlic as its' own food group and its' own heat source. Then, I got married to a man from the Chili capital of the country, Cincinnati. Cincinnati Chili is like no other chili I've ever tried, many pages try to make recipes that taste the same, but Hubby says it's no Skyline... It's ground up, broken into intsy-weinsie tiny pieces.
Here's the basic breakdown of what a true Cincy Chili is:
- two-way: spaghetti and chili
- three-way: spaghetti, chili, and shredded cheese
- four-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, and either diced onions or beans
- five-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, diced onions, and beans
I make my own version of this typically, with beans. Cause to me, it ain't chili if it ain't got beans!
So, without further ado, my version of Jen's Texas Chili:
3-4 Bell Peppers- Red, yellow, orange I had on hand, green works, too
1 medium white Spanish Onion
1/2 yellow sweet onion
4-5 cloves of garlic (yes, this much)
1 packet chili seasoning (whatever brand is cheapest- Low sodium, I eat too much salt as it is)
1tsp cocoa powder (UNSWEETENED!!!)
1/2-1tsp cayenne pepper flakes (I make my own from the garden, but store bought is fine too)
1 lb beef tips or a little on the freezer burned side steak (I'll explain this in a bit)
2 cans kidney beans (if you can reconstitute dried, let me know, cause I suck at it)
1 can chopped green chilies OR 1 chopped small jalapeño.
Step one: CHOP EVERYTHING... This part takes the longest.
First, I dice up the peppers, onions and garlic all together. No specific size, peppers always end up a little bigger than onions and the garlic, I mince. They get tossed together on a paper plate or in a bowl. I didn't want to add to the dishes heap, so it was a paper plate today.
Oh, and while I'm on that tangent, PLEASE get some reusable fabric bags and stop using plastic bags, you're killing the f'ing birds. (Don't click those links while eating, this is your warning.)
Chop your meat or get your tips together. I had two packages of tips from the store on quick sale, and apparently one was bad. So, not to be deterred, I started hunting through the freezer to find more beef. I couldn't find another package of tips, so I grabbed a steak that had been in there a while, thawed that bad boy out and just tossed that into the pan with the tips.
When your meat gets to the second point (mostly browned, a little bit pink), then toss in your peppers, onions and garlic. Saute for about 5-8 minutes (until the onions get a little translucent), then toss in the tomatoes & beans.
Then toss in the can of chilies. I love layers of heat, and this makes it pretty fantastic. Take 1/4 c water, stir in the cocoa, cayenne. Then mix into the chili. Mixing this into the water (Or the beans juice) will help decrease clumpiness.
Reduce heat, to a simmer. Low-Med. Low if it is a high output burner.
So, yeah. I make chili, with noodles. Since RNY/WLS, I tend to skip the noodles in my chili. But, when I have a hankering, I allow myself Dreamfields (supposedly low carb- and Hubby can't tell the difference) or Barilla Plus. But, mostly Dreamfields, cause I buy them in bulk on Amazon.
What is your favorite way to eat your Chili??? Comment below and let me know how!!!