Chili, dressed the way you like it, is the easiest route to dinner
Several years ago, my partner and I spent a month in San Antonio, where his family lives. We were both unemployed at the time, so we spent the days driving around the city, exploring and eating all the wonderful food. We consumed a lot of chili.
We ate the “authentic” kind, consisting of cubed beef chuck or sirloin cooked in a mole-like gravy of hydrated and pureed dried chiles, and we ate plenty of the TexMex kind, in which ground beef stands in for cubed and is seasoned with ground chili powder made from a mix of dried chiles, but often of the New Mexico varietal.
Beans and tomatoes – highly contentious ingredients to add to chili in Texas – were found in several iterations we tried.
After sampling so many, we decided that the ground beef version with beans – but with tomato paste and not canned tomatoes – was our favorite. It has been a staple of our quick weeknight dinners ever since. Consisting of just ground beef, beans and spices, it’s incredibly easy to execute for beginner cooks
(there’s nothing to even chop!) and is ready from start to finish in under 30 minutes.
Once it’s ready, we dole it out in bowls and top it with cheese, sour cream and diced avocado.
We use red onions and scallions because I like the sharp bite of the former and the vivid color of the latter.
Lots of crunchy, sharp and creamy toppings turn a simple bowl of beef chili into dinner in an instant.