Simple Perfect Chili

As usual, I’m drawn back to the Pioneer Woman when I need a tasty, no-fail recipe.  Having made this twice in the last month, I can confidently say that this is a true keeper!

My father is insistent that proper chili does not have beans.  It’s the Texas way, after all.  As for me, while my lineage is 100% Texan, my birthright is 100% Tennessean – so bring on the beans.

Substitutions: I added a diced onion during cooking, instead of as a garnish, since I love cooked onion flavor but don’t care for raw onions. PW also calls for serving this with tortilla chips, but I can’t resist Fritos with chili.

You can find Ree’s original recipe here.

Simple Perfect Chili

Ingredients
2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour)
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
For serving: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, Fritos or other crackers

Preparation Instructions
Place the ground beef in a large pot and add the garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Add the masa mixture into the chili, stir well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in a large bowl topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos for a perfect dinner!

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