chili for mikel

my brother just moved into his own place, which is a BIG DEAL for a 20 year old, and i'm sure elicits a certain amount of anxiety about cooking. knowing he was going to have limited access to his college dining hall, he spent time this summer in my mother's kitchen watching her make his favorite recipes and diligently copying them to take with him back to school. now he's right in the thick of it, and has already exhausted many of the recipes he learned, as well as most of his bank account. i'm impressed that he dove into cooking so quickly, but knowing a). how good my mom's food is and b). how much he eats, i guess i'm not too surprised. so when he called me earlier this week for help with some recipes, i wanted to be prepared, and directed him to a chili recipe i posted on this here blog.

except i didn't post any chili recipe. oops! i make this chili so often, and it has become one of the rotating staples of our household that i just assumed it was on this blog by osmosis. it is a great winter meal- hearty, with as much heat as you want. the preparation involves no more than a can opener, a few chops, and some palms full of spice, along with a little time, making it perfect for the college student trying to cram in some reading. add some diced avocado, cilantro and sour cream on top, and it can even double as something nice enough for a party- although the kind of party my brother is having maybe doesn't involve food as much as drink? he is in college, after all...

here's the recipe finally. good luck!

all-american beef chili, adapted from america's test kitchen

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
about 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato purée
fresh ground black pepper

heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat under shimmering. add onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt. cook until onions have softened, about 7 minutes. stir in garlic and cook 15 seconds.

add beef and increase heat to medium-high. cook until no longer pink, breaking up beef with a spoon. stir in beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, tomato purée and a bit more salt. bring to a simmer, cover and cook 45 minutes.

remove lid and continue to simmer 45 minutes. stir occasionally. season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. you can add avocados, cilantro, shredded cheddar, and sour cream as well.
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