Chili–NW Style

Frugal Friday calls for a simple, low cost meal that beats out the cans.  This chili recipe fits exactly.  It is easy and delicious.  I love the NW add-ins–coffee and chocolate.

Chili–NW Style

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot.  Chop one large onion and add to oil.  When onion is translucent and slightly browned, add:

2 pounds ground beef –here’s another plug for finding organic, grass fed beef!

Break up with a spoon and cook until no longer pink.

Add the following and cook several minutes to allow flavors to “bloom”:

2 tablespoons beef base

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Keep stirring and smelling 🙂 until you are satisfied the flavors are ready for:

14 oz can diced tomatoes (you can use fire roasted for more heat)

6 ounce can tomato paste

4 oz can diced green chilies

1 cup strong coffee (in the first picture you will notice I have a cup of coffee ice cubes–when we don’t drink all our morning coffee, I freeze it–another frugal idea!)

Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is your base.  For a large batch of chili, add:

6 cups of water

8 cups of beans (homemade or rinsed, canned pinto, pink or black beans)

After you have mixed in the water and beans, take out three cups and blend, using a processor, blender or hand blender.  This thickens the chili and makes it closer to the “canned” texture.  It is optional but my sons like it better thickened.  Feel free to experiment using less or more beans and water to your family’s preference.

Chili at it’s best.


Find more frugal ideas at Frugal Friday


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