Tag Archives: beef


If there's too much liquid, let it simmer with no lid for an hour. And when removing the lid to stir, don't drip the lid condensation back into the chili.

This year I was going to make chili for the Superbowl.  Then I got drunk and invited a bunch of people to my apartment for the Patriots vs Broncos game last weekend, so I made chili for that game instead.  Unlike Tim Tebow, it performed quite well.  My friend Zack gave me some guidelines and instructions because he makes awesome chili, and I added a couple things to make it my own.  What’s weird is it’s really easy!  I’ve never made chili before and I’ve never used a crock pot before and i was surprised at how simple it all is.  Here’s what you need:


  • 1 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • Half of a roll of hot sausage (half a pound)
  • 1 packet of McCormick’s Hot Chili Seasoning
  • Chili powder, ground cayenne, paprika
  • Cheese (cheddar or a Mexican blend)
  • Tortilla chips and/or Fritos


  • Large stock pot or crock pot (with lids)
  • A big strong spoon (wood works well)
  • A large cast iron skillet or frying pan.
  • A lot of time.  I started everything around 1:30 pm, got done cooking and mixing everything around 2:30 or 3:00, and let it simmer until the 8:00 game.  Definitely allow it to simmer for AT LEAST one hour minimum.

The Process

To give you an idea of how much chili this makes, I had about 10 people over and made a double batch, but I still only used a half pound of sausage total (I wanted leftover sausage… come back Monday to find out why!).  There was only enough for a few people to get seconds, so ideally I would have done this x3 and hoped for leftovers.

First, coarsely chop the onion and saute it with a bit of oil in the skillet.  While that’s happening, pour a can of diced tomatoes and a can of red kidney beans into the pot.  DO NOT strain them.  You need the water that comes with them in the can.  Also add the corn, but DO strain it.  You don’t need this much water! Never ever add any more water or anything, just the water from the beans and tomatoes.  If you are using a crock pot, set it to low.  If you are using a stock pot, put it on a burner on low for now.  Once the onions are floppy (like Tim Tebow getting sacked) and translucent, go ahead and pour them into the pot.

Now it’s beef’s turn!  Brown the pound of beef in the skillet.  If you don’t know how to brown ground beef, look it up somewhere. It’s easy but I don’t feel like explaining it.  As it browns, season it with a bunch of chili powder (not the McCormick’s chili seasoning yet), and a little cayenne, and paprika.  I think I might have added some cumin also.  Eyeball it and use common sense and personal taste to decide how much of each of the spices to add.  Once the beef is done browning, add it to the pot! You can strain the fat out if you’re a pansy. I didn’t. You shouldn’t either (Tim Tebow probably would).  Do the same with the sausage.  Brown it and add it to the pot.

Once you’ve added the beef (or wait for the sausage to be done, it doesn’t matter), mix up everything in the pot and add the McCormick’s Chili Seasoning.  It has flour or something in it so it sort of thickens the chili a little bit.  Keep mixing it.  Add more of your own chili powder, cayenne, and paprika if you’d like.  Mix!

If you’re using a stock pot, turn up the burner and keep stirring, especially scraping the bottom, until it starts bubbling. Then turn the heat way back down to simmer, put a lid on it, and stir it pretty often.  Always make sure to scrape the bottom to keep things from burning.  Anyway, if you’re using a crock pot, just keep it on low with the lid on. The crock pot should keep everything inside heated very evenly so you don’t need to stir it very often at all, and nothing should be burning onto the bottom or sides.  If there’s too much water, go ahead and take the lid off and let it steam away, but you shouldn’t have to do that very much.  Now you play the waiting game.

If you’re wondering if it’s going to be any good, just have a taste.  That’s the nice thing about chili is that you already know about how it’s going to taste hours before it’s done!  I would suggest going light with the extra spices at first, because you can always add some more.  If you added too much of something to begin with, there’s not a whole like you can do about it now.

Many Hours Later

OKAY it’s game time or dinner time or maybe you’re finally really hungry! Serve the chili in bowls and top with lots of cheese.  Crunch Fritos in your fist and sprinkle it on, and/or eat with tortilla chips instead of flatware. Or Fritos Scoops!

If you made the chili on the stove instead of a crock pot and didn’t scrape the bottom enough, you’re going to have a tough time cleaning it.  You may need a rag like a shirt you don’t wear anymore.  A Tim Tebow jersey, for example, would be effective. Too bad I can’t say the same for the real Tim Tebow.

Sorry for the lack of pictures…


Pasta and Meat Sauce

Here’s a recipe I made up as I went.  Straightforward but a lot of multitasking.  I rate it “good enough.”

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (Prego!)
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp of basil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • Pasta
  • A little oil

Chop your half onion into small pieces and saute it in a large pan.  This is when you use the oil, dummy.  Smash, chop, and saute the garlic along with it.  You can use minced garlic or garlic powder later on, but I found smashing the cloves cathartic after a bad test and a three hour night-class.

While those are starting to saute, empty the jar of prego into a medium sauce pan and simmer it on low to medium heat.  Add the basil and oregano to the sauce and stirrrrr it up.  If you’re not sauteing garlic, put some garlic powder in the sauce too.  Also fill a large pot with water put it on high heat for the pasta.

So once your stuff is done sauteing, add that to the sauce too.  Stirrrrrr it up, bro!  In the pan you sauteed your veggies in, start browning the pound of beef.  This is why you needed a large pan!

Your water is probably boiling by now so put your pasta in.  I used fettuccine because I like it!  Make sure to stirrrrrr it up immediately or it’ll all stick together like mine did. 😦

Browning the beef is pretty straightforward.  Mash it up real good for a more consistent sauce or leave it kinda chunky if you want, your call.  Now just alternate stirrrrrrring everything up!  When the beef is done browning, drain it, add it to the sauce, and stirrrrrr it up!  This is why you needed a medium saucepan!  Your pasta is probably almost done so keep mixing this and that until done.  Drain your pasta and put it on a plate and EAT IT.

…OH I’M SORRY WHAT DID YOU SAY?? I’m a sellout because I’m using Prego and not making my own sauce from scratch?  Screw you I don’t care.