Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Perfect Chili

It has taken me YEARS and many inferior bowls, but here it is- my perfect chili recipe. Perfect in my eyes, anyway. Boldly seasoned, deliciously rich, perfect for baked potatoes, hot dogs, Frito pies, or a big old bowl and spoon. My perfect chili is tomato-ey, free of beans and exactly what I want on a brisk fall day.
My Perfect Chili

2 tbs olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 - 2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups water (or chicken stock or beef stock)
2 tbs cornmeal (optional, for thickening)

In large pot or dutch oven, brown meat over medium heat in oil. Drain off some of the fat. Add spices and let toast for about a minute, stirring often. Add tomato paste and incorporate fully. Add tomato sauce and water (I just fill up the empty can with water). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for about an hour. After an hour, add cornmeal, if desired, and cook an additional 10 minutes.


  1. I cannot wait to try it! They may just get it this weekend. It looks and sounds delicious. Thanks.

  2. YUM! I love the idea of adding cornmeal as a thickener. I have a chicken chili recipe that uses Mexican masa harina in a similar way, but I never thought of using the same trick on regular chili!

  3. I love the flavor of chili, but hate beans. This sounds perfect for me. I will be putting it in my menu plan very soon.

  4. Enjoy, everyone! And Leslie, I have yet to find a chicken chili recipe that I love. Perhaps you should share yours... :)

  5. Made the Perfect Chili tonight! And we loved it! I agree, the corn meal for thickener is the secret touch. Thanks for sharing this one.

  6. Verla, I'm so glad your family enjoyed it! And thank you for the feedback. I love knowing how/if something works out for readers.

  7. I have to tell you, this is the best chili I've tasted since my Dad's. I've been looking for a good recipe since he left us in 2001. Thank you so much for sharing this! Kudos!

    1. That is quite a compliment! I'm glad you enjoy it, too! Thank you so much!

  8. this is super good - i didn't have corn meal but it was still great without it and not watery. YUM!

  9. this is super good! i didn't have corn meal and it was still really good without it - i don't think i'd add it even if i had it. YUM!!!

  10. My boyfriend hates beans so I spent some looking for a recipe I thought we could both live with...well...this is great! This is my go-to chili recipe every time!!! I don't even realize the beans are missing.