Chili with Tomatoes 3 Ways

This rich version of classic chili features extracted tomato flavors.  The heat is mid range, add more or less cayenne and cumin according to your taste.

Prep time:  20 minutes
Cook time:  45 minutes
Serves:  8

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large sweet bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup oven dried tomatoes
1/3 cup puree of oven dried tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground cayenne
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
3 cups (or 2 15 ounce cans) prepared beans
1 1/2 cups (or one 15 ounce can) refried beans
1 teaspoon salt

Heat a large saute pan or stock pot over medium heat and cook the ground beef, onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Add the red pepper and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until ground beef is cooked.

Add the tomato sauce, puree of oven dried tomatoes, cayenne, cumin, oregano, kidney beans, refried beans, and salt.  Stir to completely mix, then turn heat to medium low, cover, and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 30 minutes or until gently bubbling throughout. 

Serve with fresh cornbread, and laugh at the cold weather outside.

Variations:  Use fresh hot peppers in place of the ground cayenne.  Use ancho peppers in place of the sweet peppers.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

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