Just Like Ben's Chili

  • Currently 4/5
From The Chili Cookbook by Robb Walsh (Ten Speed Press, 2015)

A must-stop for politicians and a favorite neighborhood haunt, Ben's Chili Bowl has been dishing up the spicy stuff in northwest Washington, D.C., since 1958. They won't share all their secrets, but this recipe comes pretty close.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 onion - chopped
5 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
6 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and chopped onion and cook, stirring, until golden, 7 to 9 minutes.
2. Add chili powder, sugar, and ground cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 more minutes. Add ground beef and cook, stirring, until beef is evenly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato paste, beef broth, cornmeal, salt, and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chili is very thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf before serving.
Serves 6

The Schwebach's substitute 1-2 cans of dark red kidney beans for 1 pound of ground beef.

Topping Ideas from Relish:
Classic Toppings - Shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and onions
Dog-lovers' Delight - Hot dogs and buns, chopped onions, mustard, and relish
Chips ahoy! - Individual bags of Fritos for "Frito pies" (Fritos smothered in chili and cheese)
Pasta, please - Cooked spaghetti for Cincinnati-style
Tater Topper - Baked potatoes, sour cream, and green onions
Fries with that - Prepared frozen french fries for chili-cheese fries
Dish   Main DishCooking Method   Simmer
Main Ingredient   BeefPrep Time   less than 15 minutes
Cooking Time   15 to 30 minutes 
Features   Dairy-Free

Cassie Schwebach

Member since Feb 2010

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