Bam’s Beef Chili with Cornbread Croutons

Last night was the season premiere of The Walking Dead. I happen to absolutely love TWD and, if you don’t, I forgive you. Mr. Comfortable and I go to Pete’s house to watch the show and I have been itching for it to return. But first I had to take care of dinner. In the spirit of trying to like fall I decided to make a cold weather dish. It was a bit strange though. Earlier I’d been outside in a t-shirt and shorts while Remy and Henry played. It was so warm it felt more like early summer than late October. But, being a semi-good sport I came inside and made Bam’s Beef Chili with Cornbread Croutons.

Rich & hearty beef chili with cornbread croutons!

Beef and onions for chili

First I browned some ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, and when that was nearly cooked through I added one medium onion (chopped) to the pan.

Crushing whole tomatoes by hand is the best way!

The best way to crush up the whole tomatoes is by hand!

Combine dark and light red kidney beans for the best beef chili!

I use one can each of dark and light red kidney beans for this chili. I rinse them well before putting them in the pot.

Add tomato juice to your chili for a richer flavor

When I’ve combined the ground beef mixture, the crushed tomatoes, and beans I add about 1 1/2 cups of tomato juice. It intensifies that rich tomato flavor.

I mix about 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and a tiny bit of sugar to cut the acid a bit. I’ll let the chili simmer for about an hour then taste it and adjust the seasonings.

Cornbread goes perfectly with chili!

While the chili is simmering I mix up a batch of cornbread and pour it into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. This will bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes. The cornbread will be thin but that’s what I want for the croutons.

Cornbread croutons are great as a chili topper!

After the cornbread has cooled for about 10 minutes in the pan I remove it and, using a bread knife, cut it into croutons. I’ll put these on a cookie sheet in the oven (now turned off) to let them crisp up. I don’t want soggy croutons in my chili!

Chili with cornbread croutons is a filling meal for a cold day!

This chili is filling and delicious and the cornbread croutons give it great texture!

 

Bam’s Beef Chili with Cornbread Croutons

 

Ingredients:

For the chili

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed, undrained
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can light red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)

For the cornbread

  • 1 box Jiffy Mix cornbread muffin mix (or make a batch from scratch)

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  2. When the beef is nearly cooked through add the onions.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and the liquid to the beef mixture.
  4. Drain and rinse both cans of kidney beans and add to the chili.
  5. Mix in about 1/2 the chili powder, garlic powder, and sugar.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer the chili for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. While the chili is simmering make a batch of cornbread muffin mix and spread it in a greased 8 x 8 inch pan.
  8. Bake the cornbread at 400 F for about 20 minutes. Turn the oven off.
  9. Allow cornbread to cool for 10 minutes then, using a bread knife, cut it into crouton size pieces.
  10. Spread the croutons on a baking sheet and return to oven.
  11. When the chili has simmered for an hour, taste and adjust seasonings.
  12. Cook the chili for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  13. Ladle into bowls and top with cornbread croutons.

Optional toppings:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream

Serve with a tossed salad for a hearty, delicious meal!

 

 

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