So I've had several people ask for my chili recipe, and really, it's quite simple. However, the written one I have is from my maman, and I tweak it because I like tomatoes. And I had both fresh that I needed to use and canned that I like to use. So here is the recipe, and I've added notes of what I did differently.
Maman's Chili Recipe
* 2 lbs. Hamburger (I've used 1/2 hamburger and 1/2 chicken or turkey before with good results...but I would say you need at least 1 lb. hamburger for the flavor.)
* 1/2 onion, white or yellow, chopped
* 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
* 2 cans chili beans (I tend to use Bush's because that's really all they have here, and it works great)
* garlic powder to taste
* sugar (1 or 2 tsp)
* salt and pepper to taste
* ketchup (just a large squirt)
* chili seasoning (I only use Williams, but also add extra of my own)
In a big pot, brown hamburger and onion together. Drain well and then put back into the pot. Add 2 cans of tomato sauce and 2 cans of water. Then add the chili beans with half a can of water for each can of beans. Add the seasonings and mix well. I usually use at least a whole packet of seasoning mix, plus extra chili powder and cumin. That's me.
Bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer and let cook 20 minutes. Stir well.
**Now--- I didn't have tomato sauce on hand and I really didn't want to add to my grocery list. But I did have a couple fresh romas that needed to be used, and a large can of diced tomatoes. So what I did was brown the hamburger almost completely, added a small onion and the two tomatoes (cut in chunks) and cook that a bit. Then as that was draining I put the large can of diced tomatoes into the staub cast iron pot, and cooked and mashed them into a chunky sauce of sorts (with an extra can of water when doing the later bits). I like tomatoes, maman does not at all, but if you do this is a great way to do it. If I had more tomatoes I would have added them! I also add more onion and fresh garlic (I used a whole head) to the chili. I like these and think it makes the flavor wonderful.
You can use fresh/dried beans that you've pre-cooked. However, you will want to make sure you adjust the seasoning accordingly. It's one of the few times I used pre-flavored canned beans.
We serve with Louisiana hot sauce (not crap-tacular tabasco...blech), mexican blend or cheddar cheese, sour cream/yogurt/creme fraiche (used yogurt and some creme fraiche this time), and saltines. Delicious and healthy...but do try and eat a salad or something on the side for some veggies!