picklesink

A mom, a dad, and two nutty kids.

Holy vats of chili, Batman!

on October 25, 2012

A committee that I am on at my church (okay, full disclosure: The committee to prepare for a congregational vote regarding the marriage policy, as described in a previous post) is hosting a lunch and discussion session this coming Sunday. Racked with guilt because I cannot be there for the actual discussion, I volunteered to make chili for the lunch. We have no idea how many people will actually attend, but we optimistically decided to be prepared for 40-50, so this afternoon I found myself making giant vats of chili, which actually went much more smoothly than I ever could have imagined, even with Ben’s “help”!

I had an idea for my chili, based on my dad’s recipe on which I grew up, but in order to get an idea for how many people it would feed, I asked my friend Google to find me a “fast chili recipe with beef” and then chose the one closest to my dad’s, which gave me this:

CHILI — THE FAST AND EASY WAY
2 lbs. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 (16 oz.) cans red kidney beans
2 (16 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes (preferably Mexican style)
2 (16 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 tbsp. chili powder

Brown ground beef and onions together in skillet. Transfer to large kettle. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium low heat. Cook until heated well and most of the liquid is cooked down. This can be adjusted easily according to your own taste for thicker or thinner chili.

I quadrupled the amounts and planned some modifications, adding tomato paste, corn, garlic, and red and green bell peppers and substituting ground pork for some of the beef, and reducing the amount of meat while increasing the amount of beans slightly. I also used a variety of beans instead of just red kidney beans. That left my shopping list looking like this:

5 lbs. ground beef
2 lbs. ground pork
6 bell peppers (red and green)
4 large onions
20 cloves garlic
10 cans beans (red kidney beans, white kidney beans, black beans)
4 cans whole stewed tomatoes
4 cans diced tomatoes
8 cans tomato sauce
3 cans tomato paste
1 bag frozen corn
1 packet chili powder

I got it home and started chopping, making good use of my trusty Cusinart Mini-Prep food processor (fantastic for making family meals into baby food as well as for finely chopping onions and garlic!).

Ingredients assembled: Finely chopped onion and garlic, diced peppers, and a vast array of canned tomatoes and beans.
©PicklesINK 2012

Once the chopping was done, I started cooking the ground beef and pork

Ground beef and pork cooking on the stove.
©PicklesINK 2012

and put Ian and Ben to work opening cans.

Ben pouring tomato sauce into the giant vat o’ tomato.
©PicklesINK 2012

Ben next job was to find and crush the whole tomatoes, which he did with relish.*

Tremble with fear, tomatoes,
at the wrath of Sir Ben!
©PicklesINK 2012

Once all the meat was cooked, I cooked the onions, garlic, and peppers in batches, mixed them with the meat, and assembled my vats o’ ingredients.

Vats o’ ingredients: Tomato mixture, meat/onions/garlic/peppers, and mixed beans.
©PicklesINK 2012

Finally, I mixed it all together in my three biggest pots, trying to keep the ratio of ingredients as even as possible, and added liberal amounts of chili powder to each.

My 3 biggest pots barely fit on the stove together!
©PicklesINK 2012

It looked pretty good mixed together, and smells pretty fabulous simmering on the stove. I plan to add the frozen corn when it’s finished to help cool it down.

Yummy-looking pot o’ chili!
©PicklesINK 2012

Stay tuned until next week when I will hopefully hear how the congregation liked it – Same BAT-TIME, same BAT-CHANNEL!

~ karyn

*Please note that the relish was figurative. Real relish would have been gross.

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4 responses to “Holy vats of chili, Batman!

  1. auntie k says:

    I love how your son is cooking with you!!! It’s very beneficial for their development and it’s fun!!

    • picklesink says:

      Thanks! He’s a big fan of joining in in the kitchen. His sister would have been right there with him but she was napping…which was probably for the best this time!

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