Cold Weather Comfort Food

This winter has been pretty tough, weather-wise. I'm thinking about making my "Beanless Chili" tomorrow. I began making this recipe because my wife doesn't like kidney beans, and it is now a family favorite.

In the recipe I season the tomatoes, ground meat, onions and mushrooms when they are being cooked individually with a little salt and pepper. The key is "little", or just enough to allow the flavor to be released. When they are all combined, then one final tasting will tell you if you need to add any more salt & pepper.

Also, the ground meat that I prefer is usually one pound of ground chuck (80% lean/20% fat) and one pound ground round (85% lean/15% fat).

Occasionally, I will add a half can of beer. I usually do this if I feel that the chili needs a little liquid while cooking. Sometime it does and sometimes it doesn't. It tastes good either way.

To make 4 servings instead of 8, just incorporate half the ingredients.

One final note: While the chili is delicious (a quote from my wife) when it is first served, it seems to taste even better the next day reheated.

I was wondering if anyone else would be willing to share some cold weather comfort food recipe?

Total Time:  60 minutes Active Time:  30 minutes Number Serves:  8 Equipment:  large pot & skillet


2 lbs. ground beef
2 large bell peppers, any variety
1 large, sweet onion
1 lb. button mushrooms
2 cans diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 small can tomato paste
2-4 cloves garlic
vegetable oil
chili powder
1/2 can of your favorite beer (optional)


1. Put the 2 cans of diced tomatoes into a large pot over low heat.
2. Chop bell peppers into bite-sized pieces and place into pot with tomatoes. Season with a little salt & pepper.
3. Brown the ground meet in the skillet. Season with a little salt & pepper. Add to pot with tomatoes & bell peppers and stir.
4. Chop onion into bite-sized pieces, then saute them in skillet with a little vegetable oil and 1 or 2 garlic cloves until translucent. Season with a little salt & pepper. Add to pot and stir.
5. Slice button mushrooms, then saute them in skillet with a little vegetable oil and 1 or 2 garlic cloves until the flavor is released. Season with a little salt & pepper. Add to pot and stir.
6. Taste the chili and season one last time then salt and pepper to taste.
7. (Optional) - At this point I will occasionally add a half can of beer.
8. Cover the entire surface with a sprinkling of chili powder, then stir into the mixture. When adding the chili powder, sprinkle lightly for a little heat, and more for more heat.
9. After stirring, sprinkle the entire surface again, but do not stir.
10. Put the lid on top of the pot, turn the heat up to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.
11. Stir the mixture, and then stir in anywhere from half the can of tomato paste to the entire can. Again, this is based on your personal taste.
12. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and let cook for another 30 minutes or so.
13. Serve with something fun like cheese, chopped onions, or sour cream. This chili goes perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich.


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