I’ve been craving chili for a while, now. Back when Victor had to travel for work – and before Nonna moved in – I would live on chili dogs and chili burgers while he was gone. It’s been many years since I was able to do that, but bad eating habits die hard.

I started today’s chili right around noon – I wanted a nice, long simmer – and it didn’t disappoint. I started off by soaking a pound of cranberry beans overnight. While I really have no qualms about using canned beans, dried beans are cheap – really cheap. Cranberry beans are not the most traditional bean to use, but they’re a bit thick skinned and hold up to some rigorous cooking.

Into the dutch oven went a chopped onion, a chopped bell pepper, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. When it was starting to look good, I added a pound of ground beef – 80/20 – and the spices – chipotle powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano, Goya sazón, cayenne pepper, mixed chili powder and some salt and pepper. I don’t have actual amounts because over time, i added more of this and that…

When the beef was cooked, I added some beef broth that was in the ‘fridge, some tomato sauce that was in the ‘fridge, and a can of diced tomatoes, and brought it all to a boil. I covered the pot, reduced the heat, and let it simmer for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, I cooked the beans.

When the beans were cooked, I drained them and added them to the chili mixture and let it all simmer together for another hour.

The end result was a pretty good batch of chili.