Recipe: Minnesota Chili
As I’m writing this blog post, the actual temperature is ZERO F and the wind chill is MINUS 14 F! So when it’s really cold outside, I love a big bowl of hearty chili. It has to have beans and it has to have meat to fully satisfy me. It goes extremely well with a nice crusty cornbread too. My dear, sweet husband named this Minnesota Chili because he says it isn’t real chili. He claims that real Texas Chili has cubed pieces of beef and no beans. That may be true, but since I grew up with Minnesota Chili and I am the one that prepared it, that’s what he eats. He can feel free to use the pots and pans to make whatever he wishes 😉
I really love this chili and it is especially good when paired with my Honey Cornbread – hot from the oven.
Chili is something so comforting to bubble on the stove on a cold day. It’s also a great one-pot wonder. I have even varied the recipe for the slow-cooker too. So let me show you how easy it is to whip up this Minnesota Chili.
<Don’t like step-by-step pictures? For a standard printable recipe, CLICK HERE or scroll all the way to the bottom>
Here are the ingredients: ground beef (chicken or turkey), olive oil, celery, onion, diced tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno peppers, tomato juice, ground cayenne pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt and kidney beans (pinto or black beans).
Start out by adding your ground meat to a large pot or skillet. I used ground beef and mine was still a bit frozen. Here’s a trick I learned long ago to get meat to cook evenly and crumble more readily. You add about a half cup of water to the pan per pound of ground beef. Don’t worry; if you add too much, it either evaporates or you can drain it once the meat has finished cooking. I hate babysitting ground beef and this allows those odd big chunks of meat to become more unified pieces. It has helped me a lot in the past.
Over medium high heat, brown the meat. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat as it browns. It’s MUCH easier if you have thawed meat, so keep that in mind. I didn’t plan ahead; a common fault of mine.
Keep stirring and breaking the meat up until no more raw meat is showing. Total time to cook one pound is about 5 minutes, give or take (longer if it’s frozen).
Drain the meat. I was told not to do this in the kitchen sink, but I do it anyway. To make myself feel better I run super-hot water down the drain for a minute or so. I’m not sure if that works, but it helps my conscience.
Return the pan to the heat and add the olive oil.
Next add the celery and onion and stir to combine. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes until they just start to soften.
Now time to add more veggies. Add in the diced tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeno peppers.
Then add in the tomato juice. I made mine from fresh tomatoes this summer and froze them. So that’s why in this picture mine was frozen. Again I didn’t plan ahead and take it out of the freezer earlier. Do you see a pattern?
So if you’re like me and have frozen tomato juice, just pop a lid on the pot and allow the pan to steam thaw your tomato juice.
This is what it should look like if you add the tomato juice at room temperature OR after covered for about 10 minutes. Give it a good stir to combine.
Now it’s time for the spices. Add in the cayenne pepper (add more or less to taste), chili powder, ground cumin,…
…dried oregano and salt (add more or less to taste).
Give the pot a big stir and allow it to simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
While the chili is simmering, open the kidney beans (or feel free to use pinto or black beans) and give them a good rinse under cold water. I like to use one can of light kidney beans and one can of dark to add variety, but any beans will work well.
Add the rinsed beans to the pot and give it a good stir.
Allow the chili to cook another 10 minutes to warm the beans. At this point, check the celery for doneness. It should be tender and this will be your signal that the chili is done.
Add your favorite toppings and you’ve got something that will please a crowd. I always serve with warm, crusty cornbread and top the chili with diced onion and shredded cheese. Don’t you just want to take a bite of this chili? Try it with my Honey Cornbread – hot from the oven! As with most chili recipes, this chili is even better the next day!
If you try this recipe for Minnesota Chili, please COMMENT below. I want to hear your results!
Enjoy the comfort of food!
PS: If you see mistakes (i.e., spelling errors or inconsistencies in the recipe), please tell me right away. I appreciate any help I can get!