Nat Your Average Chili - A delicious chili made with ground beef, beans, and loads of spices added in 2 phases with just the right amount of heat. Simple to make and pleasing to the palate. Created and perfected 25 years ago and finally sharing with you.
I have to admit, this is a hard one to let go. I have created and perfected this recipe over 25 years ago and have never shared it with anyone. Now I am sharing it with you. It's simple, delicious, spectacular, smokey, and everyone loves it.
The secret to Nat Your Average Chili (see how I did that? Nat for Natalie) is adding the spices in 2 phases. First phase is sautéing the onions, browning the ground beef, adding the tomato base, liquid, and dry spices. Let it simmer on low for 60 - 90 minutes. After that, add brown sugar, more spices, and kidney beans.
If you let it sit overnight, all the flavors have a chance to meld. If you can't wait, eat it because it's still delicious.
This makes a lot of chili and it freezes incredibly well allowing for a delicious meal anytime. It's perfect for parties, cookouts, and game days. Serve with sides of sour cream, cheddar cheese, and my delicious Guacamole or eat it as is because it's perfect by itself.
Ingredients for a perfect chili:
- Chili powder
- Ground Cumin
- Granulated Garlic
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Liquid smoke
- Brown sugar
- Ground peeled tomatoes
- Diced green chilis, mild
- Tomato paste
- Red kidney beans
- Sweet onions
- I use 5 pounds (or so) of ground beef - at least 85% lean
A special thanks to my sister who came up with this clever name!
Tools you'll need for Nat your favorite chili:
Life is too short for mediocre food.
This post contains affiliate links for the products I use in my kitchen.
Nat Your Average ChiliPRINT PIN SAVESaved!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 pounds ground beef
- 3 medium onions chopped - preferably sweet
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (28 ounce) can ground peeled tomatoes
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 3 (4 - 4.25 ounce) cans diced mild green chilis
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke*
- 2 cups water
- In large stock pot, over medium high heat, brown ground beef until no longer pink and transfer beef using a slotted spoon or spider into a large bowl. Drain off any liquid and fat in pot.
- In same pot, heat oil over medium high heat and sauté onions until translucent - about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Add in the beef and remaining ingredients in phase 1. Simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (I sometimes simmer for 1½ hours or so)
- Stir in phase 2 ingredients and continue to simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.
- You need to let this cool down and sit before serving. It gives the flavors a chance to meld. I have always made this chili ahead of time and reheated on low when ready to serve.
- The chili will thicken if refrigerated overnight although it should loosen up when reheated. Add water if it’s too thick. It depends on how long and what temperature when simmering. I add ½ cup at a time.
- This freezes very well. I freeze in 1 quart portions and have chili ready whenever I want it.
- Serve with all your favorite trimmings - sour cream, cheddar cheese, Guacamole, and whatever pleases you. Enjoy!