Warm up with a hot bowl of Texas Chili!
Anyone else become a hermit during the winter months? I can’t even wrap my mind around how people can live in climates where the high is in the negatives and the snow is feet high. Maybe I’m just a wimp. It’s not even that cold yet and I’m already wearing three layers to bed and double up on the socks even tucking my pants into them so none of my leg is exposed to the cold sheets. I pretty much look like a 30 pound heavier version of myself wearing Aladdin pants. My poor husband. The good thing is that my fear of going out in the cold has helped me stick to our budget. I definitely go to the grocery store less and just make due with what we have. But mostly I stay in because I feel bad taking my baby out in the cold, although she does look pretty dang cute all bundled and with her hat on.
Well, when it’s cold outside I like to eat warm and cozy food like pot roast or this chili. Crackers are the most common thing to add to soups but I grew up eating Fritos in my chili. Not the healthiest choice but certainly the most delicious! So delicious that the thought of them made me get up and grab the bag of them. Yep, here I am crunchin’ on my Fritos reminiscing about this tasty chili. This is the life! Oh and if you’re looking for a side to chili, corn bread is a great choice! (recipe coming soon!)
Ya know what’s crazy? Out of 50 states, 3 of the 5 of us kids (my siblings and I) have lived in the state of Texas. I guess it really is a great state. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up there someday too! Anyway, my point is that one of my sisters who lived there passed this “Texas” recipe along to me (although I did make a few changes) and I love it! It has a great strong flavor and it has a variety of beans (3 kinds!). Carly even liked it and ate quite a bit until I offered her some sour cream with it. That was a mistake. She refused to eat anything else and wound up eating at least a fourth cup… which is actually quite impressive to do using just your fingers.
Now the key to really anything with ground beef is to let the meat simmer in the sauce. It gives the meat a chance to tenderize and also allows the flavors of the spices to come out more. This could be a speedy meal, but I’d rather not eat tough and chewy meat (and I don’t want you eating that either!). So give yourself time for the chili to do its thang. You can even pop it in the slow-cooker and let it simmer all day while you’re out and about.
And yes, I finished what was left in the bag of Fritos (definitely more than 1 “suggested” serving) while writing this. No regrets… except now we’re out of Fritos.
- 1 pound ground round beef, 85% lean
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, & oregano
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 cups V8 juice
- 1 package ranch dressing mix, or 2 tablespoons
- 1 package taco seasoning mix, or 3 tablespoons
For the toppings:
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Green onions, chopped
- Sour cream
- In a large pot, cook the beef and onions over medium-high heat until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Drain off any fat.
Stove Top Method:
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to simmer. Cover and let it simmer for 1-2 hours on low until meat is tender.
- Serve topped with cheese, green onions, sour cream, and Fritos.
- Transfer beef and onions to the bowl of a slow-cooker, mix in the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with topping.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Pam Murfee (I changed ingredient amounts to make it thicker and have a higher meat to bean ratio and I simmered it to make the meat tender.)