Because after you try this chili you'll never go back to your old, boring chili recipe.
I've been making chili for years--since college, really. And I always used my mom's recipe because, well, she's mom and she's an amazing cook and she made a pretty good chili when I was growing up.
But some years ago I found this recipe in a Texas cookbook that my sister had given me. It's called "Roger Hicks' Cookoff Chili," but since I've tweaked it so much since I first started making it, I think I can now safely call it "Shelly's Chili Will Beat Your Chili in a Cookoff Any Day."
Or something like that.
So, now that it's fall and we're taking rainy-day walks with our dog, scuffling through the leaves, and wearing long sleeves, it's time for chili.
Oh, and football. Isn't chili just the perfect food to eat when the game is on? Piled high with fixings like sour cream, cheese, and cornbread. Yum.
So, now that your appetite is fully whetted, let's get down to business, shall we?
Start with the basics: ground beef, onion, and garlic.
Let that "get happy," as Emeril used to say.
(Where even IS Emeril these days? I miss him.)
Add your tomatoes and kidney beans. Sorry to all the true Southerners out there--I'm a Midwestern gal, and we here in the Midwest add beans to our chili. Only one can, though. We don't want it too heavy with beans.
Next come the spices, some of which might surprise you: cumin, paprika, chili powder (duh!), and cayenne pepper (just a dash). The real surprise, though, is the cocoa powder. And the sugar.
Mix everything together, then add what I think gives this chili its distinct flavor: beer. I recommend starting with a half a bottle, just to see what you think, but if you really like it, add the whole thing.
Now let the pot simmer for a good three hours, uncovered. Just pop by the stove every now and then to give it a stir--don't neglect the chili. And if things start to get too thick, add a cup or two of water and let it keep simmering away.
After three hours, your chili will become thick, rich, and have a deep red color that can only be developed with time. The flavors will come together so well, and you'll have the best bowl of chili you've ever had.
Seriously, if you try this, please pop back here and let me know what you think. I hope you like this one as much as I do.
Have a great weekend!
For a printable copy of this recipe, click here.