When I was ‘young,’ I went to a lot of concerts. I’ve been lucky enough to see U2, The Stones, Elton John, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Roger Waters, Aerosmith, Bob Seger and many, many others.
At some point, though, I got too old for those guys. Too old, at least, to go to see the artists in concert, live and in person. I got tired of reeking of pot afterwards, tired of being shoved around by drunks who couldn’t stand up straight, tired of the occasional over-inebriated idiot upchucking nearby, just tired of all that goes hand in hand with most any event like that.
So, Hubby and I switched from music concerts to comedy shows. We’ve seen George Carlin, Frank Caliendo, and the original Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworth, Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White.
All those guys are funny and made me laugh until I cried, and there wasn’t a hint of marajuana in the building. Ron White though. Oh my gosh. He made us hurt, we were laughing so hard. His delivery was flawless and his humor fantastic. In fact, we liked him so much, we went and saw him solo.
Just so you know, Ron White with the Blue Collar Comedy crew is much cleaner than Ron White alone. He’s much less drunk too. He was so crass and got so drunk when he wasn’t with the other guys that there’s no way you’d get me to another of his solo shows again.
Despite his overly colorful language, certain bits of Ron’s humor will come to mind when I’m doing certain things. Like when I make chili. Ron has a bit about Being in Cincinnati and talking to someone who says that Cincinnati is the chili capital of the world. Ron responds by pointing out that no one told Mexico that there was a contest going on (and so it goes on with a bit about a Mexican showing up on a goat with a bowl and an onion).
Interesting thing, this. Cincinnati. Mexico. Minnesota (which is from where this recipe hails). Chili capitals of the world? I’ll bet San Antonio has something to say about that since chili as we know it today originated there.
This dish is so easy to make that I can tell you about it even though Molly the cat is laying across the open Saveur magazine on my desk.There are just a few easy cooking steps to the chili. The first is a simple sauté of the onion and celery to soften them. Next, add beef and brown it.
Then comes the oomph step; adding the seasonings. Chili powder, paprika, garlic, salt. All these good things. Top it off with whole, crushed tomatoes in their juice and let it simmer for a solid hour. Then, add beans and simmer it all a little longer. Lots of simmering equals lots of flavor.
As an fyi, the addition of the beans immediately removes this from being considered a chili made anywhere in the vicinity of Texas.
Thumbs up from all three of us. Personally, I don’t care where my chili hails from; I just want it to taste good and this does. Dudette, who insisted on eating her bowlful with a fork, thought it was a little spicy, but very good. Hubby downed a few bowls and I enjoyed mine immensely as well.
I will admit that I added a touch of brown sugar to my bowl because I like a bit of sweet to offset the heat. Speaking of heat, don’t be put off by the quarter cup of chili powder in this recipe. Chili powder is not all ground chiles. It is a combination of spices made especially for chili, including paprika and cumin. And in here, it’s not very hot at all.
Anyhow, it’s good, very, very good. I’ll bet it’s even better tomorrow.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 2 lb. ground beef
- ¼ cup chile powder
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 (28-oz.) cans whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 2 (15-oz.) cans kidney beans, drained
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes.
- Add beef, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 25 minutes.
- Add chile powder, tomato paste, paprika, salt, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 1 hour.
- Add beans, and cook, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Season chili with salt and pepper.
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