Hot Chili For a Cold Day

I think everyone has a different idea an what makes a good bowl of chili. For me, it means ground beef, beans, and a spicy red base with lots of tomatoes. Fortunately 2011 was a great year here for tomatoes. We have a lot of them in the freezer and pantry in various forms, including sauce, puree, whole tomatoes, oven roasted and dehydrated. For this batch of chili I used our freezer tomato sauce, puree and some whole tomatoes.

chili ingredients (click on any image to enlarge)

Other than the beef and beans, everything in this chili came from our gardens, including the chili powder. I make our own powder from an assortment of homegrown dried peppers, which gives it a sweet and spicy taste. I also added some of our roasted Anaheim type peppers, some diced bell peppers I froze last fall, a little of our chopped onions and a couple of cloves of garlic.

After browning some locally sourced ground beef, I drained the grease and added the onions, garlic, peppers and chili powder and let that saute for a few minutes. Then I poured in the tomato products, and let it all simmer for about an hour.

I added the already cooked red beans at the end. I used some local red beans I found at Rivercity Co-op recently. I had cooked them in the pressure cooker, then packaged the beans in pint containers and froze them for later use. The no salt added beans are a great alternative to canned beans, and the beans retain their shape and consistency after freezing.

chili

I served it up topped with a little grated local raw milk cheddar and some scallions from the greenhouse. It all made for a great tasting batch of chili. And I only dirtied up one pot making it!

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