Is it one of those stereotypes for a reason, that men can only cook eggs, steaks, and chili? The sentiment would insult the men I know in the world who are excellent cooks (and pizzamakers), not to mention the fact that the vast majority of chefs on earth are male. That said, I do think that men tend to adopt certain signature recipes, while a lot of women are generalists in the kitchen; it’s a narrow-and-deep approach versus a wide-and-ranging one. (Am I sidestepping sexism well enough yet?) Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that chili is so often “man food,” and not for nothing. One of my favorite people in the world is my stepfather. He taught me how to ride a bike, he signed my report cards, and he gave me his antique watch when I asked for it because I loved it so much. He makes my most favorite chili. It’s basic meat-and-beans, stick-to-your-ribs stuff. It’s genius on baked potatoes and hot dogs, and in quesadillas. And here it is.
The Old Guy’s Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
1 lb lean ground beef (ground chicken thighs may be substituted)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 16-ounce can red kidney beans
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and green pepper until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add ground beef and all spices to the pot. Cook until meat is well browned.
3. Add tomatoes, beans, and stock.
4. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for at least two hours if not all day. Stir every so often to make sure the chili isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Serve garnished with grated sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and avocados, if you like.