We’re half way through JULY! I think Kate will agree, this is our favorite time of year. We’re both July babies so this month has always been special for us. Growing up, we would have joint pool parties together even though there’s a nine year gap between us! This year we haven’t managed to get together, but both of our Julys have been packed with outdoor adventure and ample family time.
Last week, I took a family of Brazilians out into the mountains for the first camping trip of their lives. We had a wonderful time hiking, learning new skills, and hanging out at camp. I plan on sharing more aspects of that adventure in future posts, but for now I wanted to share a Dutch Oven Chili recipe that is perfect for a camping crowd. The way I make chili is incredibly simple.. So simple that it’s almost one of those recipes that’s not really a recipe, WTF do I mean? You’ll see..
Even though this post is entitled Dutch Oven Chili, you can also make it on the stovetop by following this recipe. If you’re making it in a dutch oven, you’ll want to get a great layer of hot coals going. Another option, and perhaps a more reliable one, is to light a couple dozen charcoal briquettes. For the first half of the recipe have the dutch oven sitting directly on a bed of hot coals or charcoal briquettes. The lid should be kept off while you brown the meat and cook the fresh veggies that way you can monitor the heat, ensuring you don’t burn your dinner. Once you add all the canned items there will be a good amount of liquid in the pot so you shouldn’t have any trouble with burning or sticking. Place the lid on the dutch oven, cover it with coals or briquettes and wait twenty minutes or so (this really depends on the condition of your coals and briquettes) until the contents of the pot comes to a bubble.
- Bell Pepper
- Jalapeño (or a small can of Jalapeños)
- 3-5 cloves Garlic
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 15oz can Kidney Beans
- 1 28oz Diced Tomatoes
- 1 jar of Salsa
- Ann Schu's homemade Chili Sauce*
- Chili Seasoning Packet
- Start by cooking the ground beef over medium heat. Break up the beef into smaller pieces with a fork while it's still raw.
- Once the beef is cooking, begin chopping your onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and cloves of garlic.
- Add the vegetables to the meat as you chop.
- By the time the beef is completely cooked, the onions should be clear and the peppers a little soft.
- Drain off the grease if necessary - this is totally your call. When I make it in the kitchen, I drain the grease, when I make it in the Dutch oven I keep it because more liquid and flavor is better than less (usually it's a small amount anyway).
- Now it's time to work those arms - open all the cans: beans (drain off the liquid), tomatoes, jalapeño, salsa, and add them to the cooked beef and fresh veggies. Splash a bit of water in each can too, swirl it around, and add it to the chili mixture.
- Add your chili seasoning (or your own special spice mix) and mix well.
- If it's looking dry, you could add a splash of water or tomato paste and water to add a little liquid.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover with a lid and allow the mixture to bubble before enjoying.
- If the mixture looks extra juicy, allow it to bubble a bit with the lid off, this should take care of some of the extra liquid.
- Serve over couscous or rice and top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- *Ann Schu's homemade chili sauce is obviously optional and most times I don't have it, but when I do, I receive five times the compliments!
There you have it. Super simple. How do you make chili? Do you serve it over rice or couscous? Are we the only ones?!