The Pioneer Woman’s Simple, Perfect Chili

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We have the pleasure of sharing this perfect Pioneer Woman chili recipe with you, courtesy of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

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.

 

(326 votes, average: 3.48 out of 5)
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The Pioneer Woman’s Simple, Perfect Chili

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • Optional Ingredients:
  • 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)
  • For Serving:
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onion
  • Fritos

Instructions

  1. Begin by measuring the spices: chopped garlic, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder.
  2. Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook the beef until brown
  3. And unless you want to tick off your cardiologist, drain off the excess fat.
  4. Pour in the tomato sauce. Followed by the spices and the salt
  5. 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.
  6. After an hour, place the masa in a small bowl. Add ½ cup water and stir together with a fork.
  7. Dump the masa mixture into the chili.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve with shredded cheddar, chopped onion, and Fritos.

Yield: 6

Notes

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.

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NonnaLee
NonnaLee

I make this without adding the beans. Grandkids love it for Frito Pie. A little fritos with a cup of chili…topped with grated cheese.

Philip
Philip

This is the 2nd time to make this. I added a bit of water and a bell pepper and a great big jalapeño. It was so good I won our school Chili cook off against 7 other entries!

Mark
Mark

I have been making chili for many years, and I just love the simplicity of this recipe, plus I like the idea of using Masa corn flour to not only thicken the chili but sweeten it with corn as well. Also, this recipe could easily be doctored up by adding some extra things such as some puréed chipotle peppers; beer maybe; chicken or beef broth; or even chocolate. I sometimes like to make my own chili powders too by using a high speed, coffee grinder to pulverize dry chili peppers purchased in bulk from the grocery store.

Dawn
Dawn

I thought there was a typo in the amount of tomato sauce to use. Only 8oz?? I used 2 15oz cans of tomato sauce and 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes. Turned out great. Never used masa before, the chili was very good. What a great tip! Really, only 8oz of tomatoes??

Jim
Jim

I tried this recipe exactly as written and it’s awesome. I used to always make chili with diced tomatoes and using the sauce alone is significantly better (IMO). I also never used masa and find it to be a game changer. “2 15oz cans of tomato sauce and 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes” sounds more like you’re making a tomato sauce versus a chili. I’m sure it tasted great though. I’ve played with chili recipes over the past 30 years and decided to take a big step back and keep it simple. Ree’s recipe was a great find for… Read more »

Michelle
Michelle

I agree with Dawn. The recipe was dry with only 8 oz—We used 2 15oz. cans of tomato sauce and 2 15oz. cans of diced tomatoes as well. It was delicious and our family’s favorite chili recipe!

Randy
Randy

I make a vegetarian version of this based on this recipe. Mainly due to being on a diet and having two daughters who are vegetarians. I use four 15 oz cans of beans, one 10 oz can of a Ro-Tel type product and one 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes. Peppers, onions, grated carrots and the spices mentioned. Family loves it. Oh- I also add some dried epazote to keep the gas down.

KC
KC

Um…. carb count? 

Lorena Marquez
Lorena Marquez

I LOVE IT  I CANT WAIT TO START COOKING WHEN MY HUSBAND COMES HOME…  THANK YOU …

Nicole
Nicole

My picky kids loved it. Made it exactly how it read. 2 cans of beans each. 1 can of the Rotel. So good.I Love Pioneer Woman. Recipies are easy and down to earth. :) Great learning for beginners !

pdkatt
pdkatt

I did not have masa flour, and decided to go with what someone suggested about ground corn chips….it was absolutely delicious!!! thanks!

Kama
Kama

Made this recipe exactly as it was written and it was great

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