Family Favorite + Secret Ingredient!
I grew up enjoying 2 kinds of chili: Cincinnati Style and “Regular” Beef Chili.
Cincinnati Chili has a different type of spice blend (think chili powder + warm spices like cinnamon…) and is generally served over spaghetti with various toppings.
I’ve been stirring big pots of beef chili for as long as I remember, helping my Mom make dinner for our large family or cooking for my own family – but I never recall following a specific recipe. I’ve tweaked my own version over the years trying different spices and such and I finally have it the way we love it!
This version is my best! Here’s my 5-Star Flavor Plan!
- Dry Spices + fresh garlic = best of both worlds, lots of flavor *
- Sautéing tomato paste and dry spices brings out more flavor **
- Using beef broth instead of water adds more flavor as well ***
- Long simmer – 3 hours – gives time for all the flavors to blend ****
- Balsamic vinegar (my secret ingredient!)- adds a touch of sweet/rich/tangy brightness at the end of cooking *****
Simmer low and slow for 3 hours – adjust thickness with beef broth
Our Favorite 5-Star Beef Chili
- 6-qt. pot
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 pounds ground beef I generally use about 85% lean.
- 1 medium onion, chopped (2 cups)
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped (2 cups) I prefer yellow or orange for color.
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
Dry Spices & Seasonings:
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomato fire roasted if u can find
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
- 2 cups low-sodium beef stock plus more as needed
- 1 (16-ounce) can light red kidney beans drained & rinsed
- 1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans drained & rinsed
Secret Ingredient – (Add at end of cooking process)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar optional
- Add oil to 6 qt. pot over medium heat. Add ground beef, onion and bell pepper. Stir and break up ground beef – until it's almost all browned. Drain off any excess fat if desired.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, brown sugar and spices. Stir for a minute or two. I like the mixture to sizzle a little so the spices release their flavors and the tomato paste darkens a little.
- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato puree and 1 cup beef stock and beans – stir to combine.
- Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer covered for 3 hours. Stir frequently.
- Add more beef stock as need to reach desired consistency. Before serving, I stir in the 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. I like the little bit of acid/sweet flavor added to the rich chili. You can omit if you desire.