Chili is a staple of fall. I don’t care who you are or what you think about that, in my world, it just IS. And when my husband and I were musing about fall foods a few weeks ago, both of us had the “lightbulb” moment of…”let’s make CHILI!”.
Now, having a solid chili recipe in your arsenal is essential. It’s something that could vary a little bit every time you make it, but in theory, you still have the same overall chili outline.
I did not have a chili recipe that I could fall on without looking up something to get me started.
My mother in law has one. A GOOD one. One that the entire Nowinsky family knows and loves. One she tweaks every time she makes it, sometimes with steak and sometimes with ground beef. She had never even written it down until we probed her for the basic outline so that we could give it a try.
This is foolproof, guys. It really is. You put in meat, spices, beans, veggies and liquid…you let it slow cook for several hours…and it becomes chili. That’s the basic premise. And you get to use Bloody Mary mix. (A newfound favorite drink. De-lish!)
It will also fill your entire kitchen with a chili aroma. That’s a bonus because let me tell you, the way it tastes will warm your insides and make you ooze happiness.
Ok, ok, that’s dramatic. But it WILL be good. And you WILL want to make it again.
We are diving in the chili-making process with a cannonball…here…we….
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 2 Tbsp dried basil
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 16 oz tomato juice
- 16 oz Hair of the Dawg (or any other Bloody Mary mix)
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 cans chili beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 6 (or so) dashes of hot sauce
How to Make:
First, it’s time to brown the meat. And not just the meat, we browned it with 1 Tbsp of each of the dried basil, Italian seasoning, oregano and chili powder.
While that’s browning, chop up your white onions and celery stalks.
When the meat is mostly browned (my own technical term), add in your onions and celery and low that cook on low for about 15 minutes.
Now, this makes a large batch of chili. So for us, we divided it amongst our largest stockpot and crockpot. But if you have a BIG stockpot, this will all fit nicely. If not, I do think splitting amongst two big stockpots or between your stockpot and crockpot, will work too. It did for us!
Now, take your meat/onion/celery mixture and pour into your stockpot/crockpot. Now, we get to add everything else!
Add in the tomato juice (not pictured in step format, but I promise it went in) and the Bloody mix, which adds a nice amount of spice (we like Hair of the Dawg…it’s sooooo tasty)…
…and then the canned diced and peeled tomatoes…
…and the chili and black beans…
…add in 1 Tbsp of garlic powder….
…and the remaining 1 Tbsp of basil, Italian seasoning, oregano and chili powder.
Give everything a BIG stir and then, for a final touch of ‘zing’, add in some dashes of hot sauce (not pictured, but is an essential final step). We did about 6 dashes, but you can do more or less depending on your affinity for the condiment.
Now, if you’re doing this as an all-day crockpot item, I recommend doing this is on low for 6-8 hours. The longer and lower heat, the better!
If you’re like us, and wanting to eat this for dinner and you’re making it early afternoon, you can easily do this in your crockpot on high for 4 hours.
Now, for the stockpot option, leave that on medium-low for a short cooking time of 4 hours, or on low for a long 6-8 hour batch.
The good news is that this is flexible and you can tweak it depending on the time you have and the cooking method you plan to use!
When you’re ready, this is great to serve with a little sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, a sprinkling of your favorite shredded cheese and a big slab of cornbread. We really enjoyed dipping and eating our Beer Bacon Cornbread with this chili and it was perfect.
So if you too are ready for fall foods, you want something to warm your insides and make your kitchen smell like heaven, you need to make yourself a big batch of Nowinsky chili.
You WON’T be disappointed!!