Basic Beef Chili is a recipe we use when we just want to make a traditional style chili. This is the recipe, or close to the recipe, that my Mom made and I ate growing up in New England. It was the recipe my Dad liked as my Mom was not a fan of chili or any Tex-Mex recipes for that matter.
This is a very basic recipe that can easily be adapted with more seasonings, or add-ins and can be made spicier with the addition of cayenne or other ground hot pepper powder. The traditional version my Mom made always used dark red kidney beans but you can use pinto or black beans or any bean your prefer.
We like our chili with a bit of corn bread and top it with cheese, fresh white onions and sometimes even a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce.
Looking for a chili recipe? Check out some of my other Chili Recipes:
- Spicy Five-Alarm Chili
- Chili Sauce for Burgers, Fries, and Hot Dogs (among other things)
- Spicy Bean Chili
- Mild 3-Bean Beef Chili
Basic Beef Chili
- 2 pounds lean ground beef, 93% or leaner
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin [See Note 1]
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Place the ground beef [See Note 2] in a large pot and add the onions and garlic.
- Cook over medium heat until browned.
- Drain off any excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and ground black pepper.
- Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Use more or less cumin to taste.
- Saucier - add a second can of tomato sauce and adjust the seasonings accordingly, to taste.
- Hearty - add a can of diced tomatoes and another can of drained and rinsed beans.
- Zesty - add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.smoky - replace sweet paprika with smoked paprika.
- Tex-Mex - use diced stew beef instead of ground beef
- Turkey - replace ground beef with ground turkey
- vegetarian - replace ground beef with protein crumbles