Now that winter is upon us, I am enjoying making and eating comfort foods. This chili works perfectly on a rainy, cool evening. It freezes well, so make a double batch and tuck away a meal for one of those crazy nights when you don’t have time to cook.
We have the pleasure of sharing this perfect Pioneer Woman chili recipe with you, courtesy of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.
This is my go-to chili recipe for everything from Frito pies to chili fries. It can be left very basic or made more interesting with additions like chopped onions, kidney and pinto beans, and cans of diced tomatoes and chilies. But whatever the eventual use, I never make chili without adding a mixture of masa (used in Mexican cooking) and water. While acting as a thickener for the chili, masa also lends a distinctive corn flavor, which gives the chili a wonderful dimension. Make this in huge quantities and freeze smaller portions – I love having chili in the freezer.
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 pounds ground beef
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup masa (corn flour, found in Mexican food section of many supermarkets)
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes and chilies (I use the Rotel brand)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Begin by measuring the spices: chopped garlic, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder.
Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook the beef until brown
And unless you want to tick off your cardiologist, drain off the excess fat.
Pour in the tomato sauce. Followed by the spices and the salt.
Stir together well, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add in ½ cup water at a time as needed.
After an hour, place the masa in a small bowl. Add ½ cup water and stir together with a fork.
Dump the masa mixture into the chili.
Stir together well. Taste, adjust the seasonings, and add more masa paste and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans, jalapeño, and tomatoes if desired. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with shredded cheddar, chopped onion, and Fritos.
Helpful Hint: To freeze the Pioneer Woman chili, allow it to cool completely, then place it in 1-cup portions in freezer bags. Flatten the bags for easy storage in the freezer.
Reprinted with permission from Harper Collins.