Beef and Bean Chili with Crispy Onion Strings

Now that it’s cool I can make one of my favorite foods – chili!

I’ve always loved my mom’s chili. And this recipe is basically how she makes it (don’t fix it if it isn’t broken, right?).

Except I added some crispy onions on top. Just because.

I know some chili die-hards believe that true chili should not include beans. My mother did not follow this philosophy. Nor do I. Why not? Because I like beans. I like them a lot, which is why this recipe has a LOT of beans in it.

So here’s how you make chili in our family.

You’re going to need the following:

3 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions
4 garlic cloves
3 peppers
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

And for the crispy onion strings, you’ll need 1 medium onion and about 1/3 cup flour.

First, get the veggies ready for the chili.
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Dice the onions.
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Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
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Chop up the peppers. Not really certain what kind of peppers these are, but bell peppers work just fine.
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Heat a LARGE pot over medium-high heat. Then start throwing everything in.

Get the beef going first.
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Then add the veggies. Pretty, right?
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Let them cook until the veggies are tender and the beef is browned.
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This next part is really difficult.

Just kidding. It’s ridiculously easy.

Toss in the the diced tomatoes and sauce.
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Add the spices – chili powder, cumin, oregano, parsley, cayenne and salt. Please note that I like my chili to have a nice kick. If you prefer mild chili, you may want to reduce the amount of chili powder and cayenne. You can always add more later, if you decide it needs more spice.
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Stir in the spices and then add the beans.
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Now just “chill” while your chili simmers for about an hour. Hehe.
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While your chili simmers, make the onion strings. First, heat about a half inch of oil in a small saucepan.

Slice an onion as thinly as possible. No need to keep the onion slices in perfect rings – it’s more important to keep the slices thin.
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Put flour in a dish and mix in salt and pepper.
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Test your oil to make sure it’s the right temperature: throw in a small piece of onion. If it sizzles, your oil is hot enough.

You’ll need to fry the onions in batches, so toss about a third of the onion slices in the flour. Once they’re lightly coated, put them in the hot oil. Fry them until they are golden and crispy; then remove them from the oil with tongs and place on a paper towel . Repeat with the remaining onion slices.
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And that’s it! When your chili is ready, serve it with some freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and the crispy onions piled on top.
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Ahhh. That is one warm bowl of deliciousness.
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I know this recipe makes a very large amount of chili. But, trust me, you’ll be glad you made a giant batch. Because you’re definitely going to want more than one bowl. AND leftover chili tastes phenomenal.

So excuse me while I go eat this vat of chili. :)

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