Chili has always been a favorite of mine and it was one of the first dishes my Daddy taught me to cook when I was a little girl. In addition to it being delicious, I love that chili is one of the only undisputed, authentic ‘Tex-Mex’ dishes, born from the union of the Texas cattle industry and heritage Mexican dried chiles.
As much as I love a big bowl of Texas ‘red,’ making a meat only chili isn’t really a weekday dinner option for me, so I save it for a special occasion dish. My regular chili usually has a lot of vegetables and beans in it, both because it makes the dish more nutritionally well rounded and it makes my wallet a little more round too!
Beef chorizo seems perfect for chili to me, because it embodies that Tex-Mex combination of beef and spices and because the chorizo is seasoned and spiced already, the rest of the dish doesn’t need much in the way of spices.
Chili is such a fun and warming dish, I love to have a bunch of toppings for my friends to choose from and make it their own. Also, I always like to serve my chili with some sort of starchy side (like baked potatoes, rice or pasta) to make it into a full meal and to save my loved ones from a bean overload, if you know what I mean. 😉
Serves 4 on its own, cost approx $1.06 per serving
Serves 6-8 with an accompaniment, cost approx $.60 per serving
- 2 1/2 cups dried mixed beans – I used black, pinto and kidney beans ($1)
- 10 oz beef chorizo ($.99)
- 2 medium onions, finely diced ($.33)
- 3 ribs celery, finely diced ($.30)
- 2 carrots, finely diced ($.19)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 2 Tbs chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt – to taste
- 4 cups stock – any type is good! I used chicken stock.
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dry oregano
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup corn kernels – frozen is great! ($.25)
- Shredded cheese ($.42)
- Avocado, sliced ($.50)
Begin by soaking your beans in the morning on the day you’re going to make this dish. When you’re starting to make your dinner, start boiling your soaked beans in a large pot, then move on to prepping all the other ingredients. Depending on the type of your beans, they will take 1-2 hours to cook through.
Heat the chorizo lover medium low heat in a large pot and render out the delicious sausage fat. Once the bottom of the pan is all coated in orange grease, add in the onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook for another few minutes to soften the veggies then add in the flour, chili powder and cumin, making a kind of spicy roux. In a few minutes, add in the stock, bay leaves, oregano and Worcestershire. Simmer this mix until it gets thicker and reduces a little, it will be happy to simmer for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and be sure to taste it and adjust the seasonings! When the beans are most of the way cooked, add them to the chili to finish cooking.
When you’re happy with how it tastes and the beans are fully cooked, mix in the corn kernels and viola, finished! Make yourself a big ol’ bowl and top it off with some cheese and other goodies and go to town!