Made like this with just ground beef and spices, it’s not usually something I’d serve on its own, even with flourish-y garnishes like shredded cheese, diced onions and sliced jalapeños. This is a chili that is meant, itself, to be a garnish. Chili dogs. Chili cheeseburgers. Nachos.
And of course, Frito Pie.
(Or Frito Pie Grilled Cheese, as the case may be.)
Basic Beef Chili, No Beans Recipe
makes 1 sandwich
2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
½ onions, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 pound of ground beef
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch each of cayenne pepper and paprika to start, add more to taste after finish cooking
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper to start)
1 small can tomatoes (whole, crushed, doesn’t matter), with all the juices, pureed in a food processor
Heat oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent, but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add ground beef to the garlic and onions. Stir and break up beef into small pieces using wooden spoon. Allow to brown, about 10 minutes. After beef has browned, tilt the pot, push all the meat to the higher side of the pot, and remove some of the fat. You don’t have to do this, but I do it to make myself feel better.
Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine, then add the tomato puree. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer. Allow to simmer until most of the “liquid” has simmered off.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more cayenne and/or paprika for heat as needed.
Garnish with shredded cheese, chopped onions, sliced scallions, and/or sliced jalepeños.