Chili From Scratch



  1. Put the oil in a pot over medium-high heat.
  2. When hot, add the ground meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Adjust the heat so it sizzles steadily and cook, stirring occasionally to break it up, until the meat browns all over, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the onion and cook, stirring every once in a while, until it softens and turns golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes, chile, and beans to the pot, along with enough water to cover everything by 2 to 3 inches.
  7. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily but not furiously, and cover.
  8. Cook, undisturbed, for 30 minutes.
  9. After that, stir the chili every 20 minutes and adjust the heat so it continues to bubble; add more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if the chili ever starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  10. When the beans begin to soften, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  11. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and adding water if the pot looks too dry, until the beans are tender but still intact - this will take the same amount of time as it took for them to soften.
  12. When the beans are very tender, taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve, garnished with the cilantro.