I am going to drop some mad knowledge on you, so buckle your seatbelt.

This is my recipe for really good, zesty, tangy, spicy, easy-as-shit chili. You can throw it together in like half an hour and eat like a damn king. I don’t know a friggin’ thing about cooking, so I’m sure someone like Alton Brown could tell me a million things about this recipe that could be improved, but whatever, it works.

You need a generous-sized skillet — the one I use seems like it’s maybe a foot or a foot and a half across and an inch and a half deep? I’m using it to cook chili at the moment, so I can’t turn it over and see if it has specifications engraved underneath.

Cut up a fist-sized onion (adjust if you have unusually large or small fists) into bite-sized pieces. Get a white onion, preferably one that says “sweet” on the grocery store tag. Don’t get one of those shitty bitter yellow onions.

Turn on the heat under your pan. Turn it all the way up. Drop a fork-sized glob of butter on there — probably like a tablespoon I guess? Measuring is for suckers.

When it starts to sizzle, dump the onions in there and stir them around. Throw on some salt and pepper and stir them around again. Don’t turn on the stove fan yet; this will make your apartment smell fucking awesome. (You may not need to pre-cook the onions like this if you’ve got a source of good-tasting onions. All the ones around here are bitter as hell, though, so I like to make absolutely sure to cook out all that bullshit.)

By the way, make sure you are using a wooden spoon. A metal one will fuck up your pan; a plastic one will melt and fuck up everything.

Once the onion pieces are looking a bit translucent and starting to brown around the edges just a little, drop in a pound of hamburger.

I recently discovered the joy of buying like four pounds of hamburger at a time and quartering it up into one-pound wads in plastic ziploc bags and freezing it. Then you just grab a block out of the freezer, clonk it in a bowl and microwave it for six minutes, pour off the gross, and holy shit, you’ve got MEAT son! (You gotta cook it for reals right away though, microwave defrosting does not count for sufficiently cooking a block of hamburger.)

Bust up the hamburger into little bits with your wooden spoon, add more salt and pepper, and stir it around with the onions. Also add some minced garlic — the definition of ‘some’ will vary from person to person. It is best if you buy a bulb and mince your own cloves, but I won’t fault you for buying a jar of pre-minced garlic and using that. It’s way much easier. You can turn your stove fan on now, but take a minute to enjoy that hearty meat-cooking smell first.

Give the stuff another stir every couple moments. Flip over the bits of meat so the other side cooks. While you’re doing that — actually before you start cooking at all, to be honest — open and drain the slime from a can of dark red kidney beans. Pour them into a colander or strainer of some kind and give them a good rinse, because the juice they pack those beans in is nasty as hell. Also drain the juice (there isn’t much) out of a can of 100% Natural Hunt’s Diced Basil Garlic & Oregano (which also includes tomatoes, despite not actually saying so on the label).

When you can’t see any more pink in the meat, dump in your kidney beans and stir them in. Once you’re done stirring and you figure you’ve given them enough time to heat up, pour in the tomatoes and stir them in as well. This is where stirring will get difficult, because the skillet is getting pretty full, so err more on the side of not sloshing the stuff out of the frying pan.

Then pour in a can of Campbell’s Select Harvest Garden Recipes Zesty Tomato Bisque. This stuff is pretty goddamn delicious just as soup, by the way, and I do not at all enjoy what you think of when you think “tomato soup”. The soup adds enough liquid to make everything much easier to stir, so do that now (It’s easiest to like start at the sides and push the stuff in toward the middle).

Now! Add several shakes of dried basil, oregano, and parsley flakes. If you have fresh herbs, by all means use them, but man if you have enough money to buy fresh herbs or the patience to grow them, I am not the man to be getting recipes from. Add a healthy dusting of paprika, and some “Mrs. Dash” if you’ve got some. And then add some Tabasco (or Frank’s Red Hot or Tapatío if that’s your preferred brand), some cayenne pepper, and some chili powder. Don’t overdo it with the spicy stuff, you don’t want to overpower the rest of the flavors. If it turns out to not be spicy enough, you can use more next time.

Stir that all in pretty thoroughly, and then add several gloops of Heinz A1 sauce, a good spritz of balsamic vinegar, and a nice fat squeeze of lemon juice. Stir it again.

Go away for a couple minutes, then come back and stir it again. Go away again and find something else to do, then remember you’re cooking chili and come back and stir it again. It’s okay if it starts to stick to the pan — just scrape it up with your wooden spoon. The charred bits will add flavor.

Continue occasional stirring until the chili has thickened to a point where it’s legitimately chili and not soup or stew. Take it off the heat, and stir in a small can of peas. Give them a few seconds to warm up, and then dish yourself up a bowl. If there are other people around, you still get the first bowl because you goddamn cooked it.

Add some shredded cheese and a fat glob of sour cream and enjoy some delicious motherfucking chili.

This recipe serves two big eaters or four people if they aren’t very hungry and you’re also making a salad or some shit.

2 thoughts on “Untitled

  1. My apartment smells awesome and it’s all thanks to Riff.Couldn’t find the spiced diced tomatoes so I just added more spices… worked out well. Also I omitted A1 sauce because this would be the only thing the bottle ever gets used for. Oh, and peas got left out too.It’s a shame that I didn’t take an "in progress" photo. oh well… next time.

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