Easy chunky beef chili topped with cornbread and shredded cheese
You guys, is there any dish more quintessentially fall than chili? I mean, think about it. Hard. Maybe pumpkin, but not IMO.
The funny thing about chili is that it’s so particular. There are a gajillion variations and every home cook thinks theirs is THE BEST ONE. But really: soupy or chunky, spicy or sweet, veg or beef (or turkey, or bison or chunky beef), with pasta (I’m looking at you, Cincy) or without, topped with cheese (cheddar or pepper jack?), accompanied by cornbread or Fritos (I’m looking at you, mom), on baked potatoes, topped with cilantro, green onions, avocado or in the case of the Aussie burger chili, an egg.
SO MANY OPTIONS!
Despite all the options there aren’t really that many decisions to make because what I’ve found with chili is that we like what we like and that’s it. Sure, we’ll try someone else’s, but secretely whisper to ourselves in our minds that ours is infinitesimally better.
You know I’m right.
So I’m not going to claim that this is the best one, because even though I know in my head it is, I know that in your head, it will never be. Still, I offer it as an option on that occasion that you want to mix it up. It’s simple and delicious and while Mom tops hers with Fritos as mentioned above, I assemble mine with cornbread and melted cheese on top, almost like a chili-cornbread-pot-pie conconction, and I love it so much that despite eating it five + days in a row every time I make a batch, it still leaves me wanting more.
This recipe can be cut in half if need be, but also something to note, chili is best when shared. On that, I think we can all agree.
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 1/4 pounds ground beef (I used 90% lean)
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes (okay if you use the one seasoned with chilis, but not necessary)
- 1 14-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed
- 2 TB (heaping) regular chili powder
- 1 TB (heaping) ground cumin
- 1 tsp (heaping) ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp sugar
- cornbread, to serve
- shredded cheese, to serve
- cilantro, to serve
- In a large stock pot, add the oil and onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beans spices, salt, pepper and sugar and give it a good stir. Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes until all is heated through. Serve with your favorite chili accompaniments.
- This is best if made the day before.