Besides a couple of less-than-a-year-long infidelities, I lived in Texas from age 0 to three months ago. That's 33 years. So I have eaten some chili.
It gets cold in Texas, believe it or not. Not for long, and never below the teens, but it does get cold. And when that happens, Texans huddle inside. And make chili.
I love chili, but I also love being lazy. If you love chili and hate trying, this is the chili for you.
Many Texans believe a lazy attitude toward chili is sacrilege. They are super cereal about chili. Their chili has 612 ingredients and gets entered in contests. This is not that chili.
This is chili for when you have about $15 and want to feed something hot and delicious to a bunch of people for a day, or a couple of people for a few days, or freeze a lot of chili for later.
That being said, it tastes really, really good. I've never served it to anyone who didn't rave about it. You don't have to tell them how cheap and easy it is.
This recipe makes about ten servings, depending on how you describe a serving.
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 a white onion (get a big onion if you like a lot of onion; get a small one if you don't)
2 Serrano peppers
More peppers if you like peppers
2-3 cloves of garlic as desired
2 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (if you want to dice your own tomatoes, have at thee)
2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chili powder
2-3 tablespoons cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
Chop up the onion.
Chop up the peppers. Leave more seeds if you like it hot. (Some do.) Discard the seeds if you prefer mild chili. If you're a big *ussy, leave them out entirely.
Chop up the garlic, unless you have a press and then just peel it.
Get a big pot with a lid.
Brown the meat with the onions and garlic. Add a little salt and pepper and chili powder.
When it's almost done, add the peppers.
When it's done, drain the fat, but leave just a little for flavor.
Pour in all four cans of tomato crap and stir.
Add remaining spices. I also add a little red pepper for extra kick.
Bring it all to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour and a half to two hours, stirring and tasting occasionally. If it needs something else - like more salt - add it during this time.
When it's done, serve as is or with cheese or cream cheese.
This tastes even better the next day. I cook a big pot and my husband and I eat almost nothing else for two or three days.
This freezes well. Put some in a ziploc bag and lay the bag flat to freeze. Then you can stack bags of it in a small space.