DETROIT -- A big pot of chili is popular fare for a cold-weather bash or family get-together.
One reason, I am sure, is that it is a fairly simple dish to put together. And it can be one of those "anything goes" dishes.
You start with a big pot. Then you start adding stuff. Meat, onions, tomatoes and anything else you like. Eventually you end up with a dish called chili.
You can add beans too, although folks from Texas consider that a no-no.
I often get calls from readers (and family members) who say, "Tell me how I can make this dish with ingredients I am familiar with," or "Give me a recipe for something that doesn't have a lot of ingredients."
Today's recipe is just that. It's made with six ingredients, not counting salt and pepper and the oil for sautéing the onion.
For this recipe, I sautéed the onion until it caramelized. This added a bit of sweetness to balance the chili powder. The other key point is to use a good Bloody Mary mix -- one that has good seasoning and a little spice to it.
Use diced tomatoes, with or without chilies. And pay attention to the sodium content. Look for a low-sodium brand -- some are labeled "no salt added" -- because the Bloody Mary mix is often high in sodium.
I am not a chili purist. I find that people like to doctor it up when it's served.
Super Easy Beef Chili
Makes 8 cups. Prep time: 10 minutes. Total time: 1 hour.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (such as sirloin)