Best Chili Recipe To Make A Memorable Meal

When it comes to the best Chili Recipe, many of us are partial to what we grew up with. This is where I am a bit different. My mom always loved chunks of tomatoes and it was more “liquidy”. The kind of chili I love is one where it is thick enough to put on a hot dog. It needs to have beans, hamburger and lots of flavor. Not necessarily spicy, just flavor.

The Chili Story – And Why My Chili is the Best Recipe

I remember my mom making chili growing up. It always smelled amazing in the house as she let it simmer all day on the stove. The part I didn’t like was the big chunks of tomatoes. I just couldn’t handle the texture of tomatoes, still cannot. I was a very fussy eater and while some things I have grown up and now will try, there are still limits to how brave I will be. My parents tried to understand, they would encourage me to at least try it, but their patience would wear thin. I remember many times crying at the dinner table not wanting to “try” one more thing. It was very stressful and I would rather go to bed hungry than eat something that was in my own head as being yucky.

My childhood experiences were my own. And I vowed then that I would never force my kids to eat things that they said they didn’t like. And I never have. Kids go through phases on foods. For me it is a texture and appearance thing. Mushrooms, oysters, peas, shrimp, as well as tomatoes. Practically any cooked vegetable would get me gagging with exception of Sweet Corn, slathered in butter and salt, I could eat sweet corn every day.

My Chili is Kid and Hot Dog Friendly

When I make my chili, I have to remember how many people am I cooking for? When the boys were at home, it required 2 pounds of ground beef, 4-5 cans of beans, 1 or 2 cans of tomato sauce and some amazing spices that give it great flavor. I also use about a can of beer or some red wine (Merlot or Pinot Noir) to cut the tomato acid down. Additionally I prefer it very very thick so that when we put it on hot dogs, the sauce stays in the bun. I could get the fussiest of kids to eat my chili, it wasn’t “chunky” with tomatoes and my beans were always known as Muscle Beans. I never forced them to eat or get them to try it. Bribe? Perhaps. It’s amazing how fast little boys will eat beans to get muscles!

I remember our youngest went on a binge of only eating fresh veggies. Salads were the best. He would literally gag on potatoes and meats, even chicken nuggets. He eventually grew out of that stage and now eats practically anything. In fact, both our boys are better eaters than I am. I like to believe it’s because of how I did meals.

Time to Head to the Kitchen & Make Some Chili!

For my best chili recipe, I start out with the beef, browning it with a bit of salt & black pepper and some fresh pressed garlic cloves. While that is browning, I am draining the beans. I love having a variety of red kidney beans, pink beans as they have differing textures.

Once the ground beef is browned nicely, I mix in the beans and the tomato sauce. I also add in the spices. My favorite brand to use is Carroll Shelby’s chili packet. It seems to have just the right blend of seasonings, although I have recently tried a Texas brand of seasoning as well. It was more spicy than I normally prefer, but it was still very yummy. While all that is simmering together, I pour in the beer or wine. What I also like is that I can easily throw this all in my Crockpot and let it simmer all day if I want and it makes clean up a breeze.

I like to make sure the flavors all have time to blend nicely before serving. However, when I am serving this best chili recipe, I make sure I have a variety of “toppers”.

Our favorites are:

  • White Onion diced as well as green onion
  • Cheddar or Mexican Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Corn chips – Scoops are the best

Best Chili Recipe

1.5 – 2 lbs of ground meat (turkey, beef, pork all work great) – We recommend nutrient dense beef that can ship right to your door!
2 cans of beans (Red Kidney, Pink, or whatever you fancy)
1 can of tomato sauce
Your favority Chili Seasoning packet (or homemade blend)
1-4 cloves of garlic (your preference)

Brown meat. Add rest of ingredients with about 1/2 can of water and 1/2 can of beer or red wine. I chose our Ricord Merlot. Let simmer on stovetop until desired thickness or add to crockpot and let cook on low for 4 hours. If you want it thicker, add in cornstarch or masa flour. Add your toppings and Enjoy!

Making it a Memorable Meal

What I love about cooking homestyle recipes is that you can make it a memorable meal with just a few simple additions.

Firstly, we can add additional foods to pair with the chili. In our house, just the chili is enough unless we have some Ambassador Old Fashioned Wieners cooked on the grill. However adding in cornbread will make it a full meal. But if you have the Scoops corn chips, it is a great easy side that kids of all ages love to use to eat with.

Secondly, never forget the beverages. Many people think beer, but chili pairs amazingly with wine. When searching for ideas of wine varietals that pair well with chili, you need to take into account a few items. What kind of meat are you using? White meat equals White wines like Chenin Blanc or even a fruity Rosé.

For my recipe, we primarily use ground beef, but have tried Turkey and Pork as well. So we also want to take into consideration the acidity aspect. Because we are using tomato sauce, there will be acidity, but I am also using my wine to help offset the acidity while the chili is cooking and simmering. It makes it easier for those affected by acidity in foods to enjoy the foods without repurcussions later. Therefore choosing a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, with a bold full-body. I chose to taste it during the call with our club wines: the Antoniou Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ricord Merlot. You can get more information about our amazing Club and the benefits of having it arrive direct to you at this link.

Don’t Forget Dessert!

A great finisher for every meal is always dessert. Because it is cooler and rainy today, the day I created this meal, a felt a heavier dessert would be more enjoyable than something fruity and light. I went searching for something simple that would allow me to keep my time in the kitchen short. Going through the large shoebox of recipes from my Mom, I came across a simple recipe in her handwriting with the title Elaine’s Brownies. Been wracking my brain trying to remember who Elaine was and given the little memo paper it is written on, it had to have been a co-worker of hers at the newspaper.

What stands out to me is that this recipe has just 3 ingredients – Box of Chocolate Cake mix, 3 oz box of Instant chocolate pudding and 2 cups of milk. No eggs or oil needed. I quickly put them in a batter bowl and using a whisk, got it all blended together. Grabbing a metal aluminum cake pan, I sprayed it with Avocado oil and poured in the batter. Baking for just 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, the house smells absolutely yummy. What’s even better is that it pairs very nicely with the wines we serve with the chili!

In Conclusion

What I love about my best chili recipe, it’s set up as a way for people to make it their own with what they like. The meal itself is easy to prep and clean up is a breeze leaving you more time to visit with family and friends that you invite over to enjoy the feast. Turn on a football game or make it a game night, or continue with more wine tasting, whatever your fancy, but overall enjoy! Cheers!

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