I am reposting this in honor of the Frugal Food Series Part 4: Ground Meat.
2 lbs ground beef
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (29 ounce) can kidney beans (with liquid)
1 (29 ounce) can pinto beans (with liquid)
1 cup diced onions (approx 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup diced green chili peppers (approx 2 chilies)
1/4 cup diced celery (approx 1 stalk)
3 medium tomatoes chopped
2-3 teaspoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
Brown ground beef and drain off fat.
Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
Bring to a simmer and cook, 2-3 hours, stirring frequently (although not constantly).
Of course, I didn’t necessarily have the exact ingredients in the exact proportions on hand. So did I run out to the store? NO!! I did what any good frugalite would, I improvised and substituted (and also cleaned a few things out of the cupboards and fridge).
Here is how I made it.
I soaked a couple of cups of various dried beans that were hanging out in my cupboard overnight, then I boiled them for about 30 min or so until they were soft. Then I used 1 c of browned ground beef that I had in the freezer, ½ of a large onion that was in a ziplock baggie in my crisper drawer, cut the kernels off of a single cob of corn left over from dinner, and sliced up about 10 black olives that were waiting to be used. I didn’t have any celery, so I snipped up some fresh Lovage from outside, and I substituted 1 of those tiny cans of diced mild green peppers that they sell next to the mexican food in the grocery store. By that time I could only fit in one can of water, so I called it good.
Otherwise I followed the recipe 🙂 (This is the kind of thing that drives my friend Lisa crazy. She needs a recipe and is very timid about improvising!)
Oh yeah, except I tossed it all in the crock pot to cook all day on low-that way I didn’t have to think about it and I sure as heck didn’t have to do all that stirring!
This came out a little spicier than I remembered from last time-I guess that the summer had dulled my memory. I had to add generous dollops of sour cream to the kid’s portions in order to make it edible (although Princess kept telling me she liked it anyway as she gulped the water-that girl will be my halbenaro pepper girl I swear). The next time I’ll cut the chili powder down to 1 or 1 1/2 TBS instead of 3, and maybe halve the cumin. . . .
Although the traditional pairing for chili is cornbread, I seem to be the only one in my house who likes it. Even though I can easily eat an entire pan, that really isn’t good for my waistline. So I made Apple Bread instead! I’ll post that on Monday-it’s a tasty fall recipe as well. . .
*Note-that is not me!