I love chili. Ok, I love food. Chili is just one of those things that you can make a million different ways and it’s way easier than you think.

  • Start with an onion and ground beef. I like some fat for flavor on my beef so look for 80/20 in the grocery store or online. If you can get 70/30 it’s even tastier!
  • Chop the white onion and sauté on low heat in some olive oil.  I do this in a Dutch oven so it’s a one pan dish and an easier clean up.
  • Once the onions start to sizzle, put in your ground beef. I used a half of a large onion and two pounds of ground beef.
  • Then dice one jalapeño pepper and add to the browning meat and onion mix. Cook until the meat is all brown. I take out some of the excess fat by tilting the pan and using a large spoon. Leave some of it though, you don’t want to drain all the liquid.
  • Next step, add either a can of corn or if you have a couple ears left over from last night’s dinner, cut the kernels from the cob and throw it in.
  • Then drain a can of red beans and add them to the mix.
  • Now the seasoning. You don’t need a packet, I tend not to use them because I can’t stand cumin and leave it out of my chili. Salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chili powder and cayenne. I use a generous amount of all the spices.
  • Let it cook for a couple minutes and then add a can of diced tomatoes. You can also cut up one or two tomatoes from your garden or farmers market and add it into the pot.
  • Last step is I move the mix to the side a little bit and create a little pan space. Some of the liquid will still be there and that’s where I add three chopped garlic cloves.
  • Mix in the garlic after a minute or two and then add the key ingredient: a full can of beer. Not crappy beer. Beer that you would drink. For this batch, I used a Lagunitas IPA. Delicious.
  • Let the pot simmer for a few hours.
  • Serve hot off the stove with fresh cilantro, lime wedges, green onions, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

I choose a bowl and yes, I eat it with chop sticks. My son prefers the mix in a hard taco shell.  Either way, enjoy!

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.