I posted these photos on my Instagram the other day of our chili night. I was pondering all of the different ways people eat their chili. There are probably, literally, thousands of different variations. I love my chili with a bottom layer of cornbread (it offsets some of the spice), middle layer of chili and then topped with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Here are my favorite chili and cornbread recipes.
I am definitely one of those cooks that doesn't always stick to the recipe. I like to vary it up depending upon what's in my freezer, pantry, etc. You can always stick to basics and just use 2 pounds of ground beef or ground turkey but I like to throw in a pound of what I call "specialty" meat. To me the addition of a different kind of meat adds some depth that regular beef chili doesn't have.
I will confess about the cornbread, if I'm pressed for time I will usually use this box, but if I have the time, my favorite recipe is below. Enjoy!
1 pound organic ground beef (turkey)
1 pound "specialty" meat of your choice (elk, bison, turkey, sausage)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (you can sub black beans if desired)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
Directions: Add onions and garlic and olive oil to a skillet, cook over on medium-high heat. Saute until onions are cooked well. Place ground beef in a skillet. Cook until evenly brown. Drain, and crumble.
In a large pot over high heat combine the ground beef, tomato juice, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans, onions, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, sugar, oregano, ground black pepper, salt, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
(Note: If using a slow cooker, set on low, add ingredients, and let simmer for 8 hours or more.)
1 cup milk
1⁄4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 1⁄4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Directions: Heat oven to 400. Grease bottom and side of a cast iron skillet, round pan, or square pan, with oil or butter. Beat milk, butter and egg in large bowl with hand beater or wire whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour into pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.