Jen's Ordinary But Yummy Chili
2-3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grass fed butter, lard or bacon grease
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1/4-1/2 onion, chopped small
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 TBS. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
(Optional: cayenne, crushed red pepper or other more spicy items)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cans or pints beans, such as kidney, black, pinto, or cannellini
canned tomatoes, either 1 quart home-canned or 1-2 cans from the store
6 cups water or broth
Sautee onions and garlic in Olive Oil or other fat. Add meat and spices and sautee until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes and sautee another minute or two. Add water or broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for at least 1 hour, or until everything is delicious.
This is a really basic recipe. It would be yummy to add any chopped veggies at the sautee stage. In particular, carrots, zucchini, peppers, and celery would be great. I'd also recommend ramping up the heat if you aren't cooking for picky 3 and 4 year olds. For my purposes, though, the plainer the better.
Top with sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and/or chopped scallions.
I'm happy to report that in this meal, the ground beef was grass fed, humanely raised and local (from Wallace Farms), the beans, tomatoes, and salsa were all home-canned, and the cumin was purchased in bulk. Also, the garlic and onion were purchased from a local, independent grocery store that has recently added some awesome solar panels. The sour cream was from Whole Foods, but organic, grass fed and cream line. However, the brown rice we served it over was from Trader Joe's, though it was organic.
We are really looking for ways to feed ourselves in the most healthy, most sustainable, and most affordable ways. This is a tricky balance, one we're still working on.