Monday, January 31, 2011

Rich Meaty Chili and Grandma's Crusty Corn Bread

At the request of my dear husband, I've upgraded our chili recipe a bit.  You might remember the first chili recipe I shared - Cheap Girl's Chili.  It's a bean-rich dish.

Well, my mom and I started talking about our versions of chili once while J was in earshot, and he heard that mom uses two pounds of ground beef in her chili and only a few cans of beans.  Hmmm.  To most men, that would sound like an upgrade indeed.

When I announced I was going to make us a big pot of chili this week, he got this yearning look in his eyes, and I knew exactly what he wanted.  More meat, less bean, more juice.

I delivered.  It was a success.

Grandma's Crusty Corn Bread helped.  It's great topped with chili or drowned in honey.  I like it both ways.  J and I are trying to start a revolution: chili with cornbread is the new thing - not cornbread with ham and bean soup.  Join us in our mission!

Look at that nice, slightly crunchy crust on the cornbread.  You honestly can't do that with a box of Jiffy.

Rich Meaty Chili
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili hot beans in gravy, partially drained
1 can Mexican chili beans in gravy, partially drained
2 cans stewed Mexican-style tomatoes, cut into smaller chunks
1 small handful brown sugar
1 8 oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
1/2 tomato sauce can filled with water
seasoning to taste: chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, oregano, cayenne; salt and black pepper

1. Brown the beef and chopped onion together.  Drain.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Season with chili seasonings (or use Williams Chili seasoning packet).
2. Add beans and stir well.  Add tomatoes and stir well.  Let simmer for at least 1/2 hour.  Add brown sugar.  Taste.  Season more if needed.  Add tomato sauce and water.  Let simmer for at least 1/2 hour longer.
3. Serve with shredded cheddar and saltine crackers.  Cornbread is a delicious touch.

Grandma's Crusty Corn Bread
1 c flour
1 c corn meal
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 c milk
1/4 c oil

Mix together the dry ingredients.  Add egg, milk and oil.  Stir just until moistened.  Pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan.  Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes.

I'll be honest.  My cornbread got thiiiiis close to crispy-crusty.

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