Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dave Baggs Ultimate Chili

Last Saturday it was Girls Night In (yeah, we're too lame to go out and party) and my sister-in-law made us her dad's famous chili. Why is it famous, you ask? Well, seems that this chili was the winner of a couple of Chili Cook-Off's in Crested Butte, Colorado. This chili is actually more like a hearty soup and it's excellent for those cold, winter evenings in San Diego when the temperature drops to 50! ;-)

INGREDIENTS (makes a lot of chili) The man, the myth, the legend.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, or ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes, chopped (you can use cans of chopped tomatoes, but if you want to do it the Baggs way, you gotta buy whole tomatoes, then chop them...yeah, it's a Baggs thing), with juices reserved
  • 2 (16 oz) cans beans in chili
  • 1 can (4oz.) Ortega chopped green chilies
  • 1 large onion, chopped + 1/2 cup reserved for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped (use one or omit it altogether if you're a wuss)
  • 1 1/2 oz. Gephardt’s Eagle Brand Chili powder (yes, that's half the bottle and it has to be Gephardt’s for the recipe to work...yet, another Baggs thing)
  • Grated cheddar cheese, for topping
  • Fritos, for topping

In a large skillet, cook the beef, add salt, and cook until no longer pink. Drain, reserving about a tablespoon of the grease. Set cooked ground beef aside.

In a large stewpot, on medium-high heat, add the reserved grease. Sauté the onion, green bell pepper, celery, and green chilies for 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, cooked ground beef, jalapenos, and chili powder. Add the reserved tomato juices, water (two 28 oz. can-fulls), or to your desired consistency. You want the chili to be more like a soup, so add more or less water. Simmer for 2 hours.

Serve with chopped onions, grated cheese and Fritos, as toppings.

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