My very first job was at Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers. I worked the drive thru window as cashier during my shift and washed the dishes as the night wore on and after close to get us home as fast as I could. One of my favorite things to do was make huge batches of chili in those five gallon stainless steel pots when I had a slow moment at the window. I've always been a fan of the chili at Wendy's and here it is many years later and I will still eat it every once in a while. Did you know that taking a french fry from under the heat lamp and wrapping it with a slice of cheese slathered in mayo is a tasty snack? My ass grew pretty large during my tenure at Wendy's. It was the danger of the job and I'm not one to shy away from danger.
I love chili and have a couple of great recipes in my stash but ground beef chili is not my friend. We have never gotten along and I just don't understand. Finding a recipe that everyone in my family enjoys has been a very tricky endeavor. I've tried dozens of recipes over the years, everything from traditional to coffee and cinnamon added, but have failed to find anything that my whole family could agree on for more than one tasting. Son #2 has this ability to really like something the first time he tried it and maybe even the subsquent second and third try but then will turn up his nose and refuse to eat it from that point on. I don't get it. However, this recipe managed to pass all of the tests that my family put it through. It isn't spicy which reminded me a bit of Wend'ys chili so that's an added bonus for me.
Ground Beef and Bean Chili
1 lbs ground chuck
1 medium onions, chopped
1 garlic cloves, chopped
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
32 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
16 oz kidney beans
1-2 Tbs chili powder, depending on your heat preference (I used only 1)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, crumble the gound beef and cook through; drain. Add onions and saute until transluscent.
2. Add in garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Mix together completely. Add in remaining ingredients.
3. Cover and simmer for at least a half hour or you could transfer to a crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: at least 1/2 hour