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Friday Night Chili

This is not "cook-off" chili. And it will stir controversy among those "no beans" Texas chili mavens. But, aside from the fact that it′s delicious, it is easy to put together and calls for ingredients most people have on hand or are easily obtainable. You can "heat it up" further by floating a sliced, seeded jalapeño on the surface while the chili is simmering.
  • 2 pounds lean ground chuck
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans pinto or kidney beans, well drained
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14.5-ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes, undrained and chopped or mashed with a potato masher
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 to 3 rounded tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 rounded tablespoon masa harina, optional but very desirable
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese, optional
  • Saltines or corn chips, optional
Combine the ground chuck, garlic and onion in a Dutch oven and cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble it. Drain well. (I use 85 percent lean ground chuck, and there is no excess grease to drain.)

Add beans, beef broth, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, oregano, black pepper and ground cumin. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

If you are using masa harina, stir it into the chili about 20 minutes before it's done. While this is an option, the masa will thicken the chili gravy and add an authentic Tex-Mex flavor that nothing else provides.

Serve topped with grated cheese and saltines or corn chips, if desired.

Makes 6 generous servings.

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Kitchen tools you'll need: chili bowls, Dutch oven
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