I didn't win the award, but my little sister Teri won an informal chili-cookoff at a friend's house with this recipe. It's a quick and easy recipe, yet tastes better than any mix or chili starter I have tried.
It is the best kind of recipe...easy to make, easy to double, and extra can be frozen for future weeknight meals. I always make a double batch and freeze half. When it is cold and wintery outside, it will be quite delightful to warm some up for a no-cook meal after work. I serve it with brown rice and a little bit of shredded cheese when I am trying to be respectable...fritos and a whole lotta cheese when I'm not.
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 can chili beans (I use Bush's mild)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven. Add onion and peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, and add the ground beef and garlic. Season again with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir it into the meat. Add green chiles, tomatoes, and beans. Stir, and simmer on low for at least 10 minutes...longer if you have time. I simmer mine uncovered because I like it thicker. Check for seasoning before serving, and simmer a few minutes longer if you end up adding more salt and pepper.
If you like it spicy, it is really good with a minced chipotle pepper and a little bit of the adobo sauce it comes packed in. But since Gabby eats it too, I leave out the chipotle and jalapeno (I still use the green chiles).