Living in Florida has it challenges including: surviving the insane heat every summer, dealing with the many pests whose seasons are longer then normal, and never knowing when the fall yo-yo weather will finally get cool enough for you to want chili. Luckily we combat that my having the necessary ingredients on hand at all times.  As soon as the temperature dips cool weather food immediately appears on our table.

There are so many ways to have chili it’s difficult to say that this or that recipe is the BEST CHILI RECIPE EVER. You can have it with or without beans, smoking hot or super mild, using shredded or ground meat, with spaghetti (Why oh why Cincy?!) you get my drift. The point of this being that I would suggest everyone tweek recipes they like so they become the recipes they love. This is our recipe. It has evolved so much that it bears almost no similarities to its parent recipes, emphasis on the s.

Our Family Chili Recipe

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed or diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground meat (we use buffalo)
1/2 quart of meat stock (both chicken and beef work well)
1 large can (28oz) of whole stewed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
grated Cheddar for garnish

Over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in one Tbsp oil. Once the onions begin to sweat, add your choice of ground meat and cook until browned. When the meat is cooked add the stock, bay leaves, dry mustard, chili powder, and cocoa powder. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced. Puree the stewed tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add to pot. Rinse the canned beans well and add to the pot along with brown sugar and vinegar. Mix well and simmer over low heat for at least 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Take off heat, adjust seasonings to taste and allow to stand covered for five minutes. Garnish with the Cheddar, if desired. Serve hot with corn bread.