It’s back to school time!
Unlike Billy Madison, we did not pack up our lunch to take to school. We both grew up eating “hot lunch” every day. School lunches were hit and miss. Some of them we loved. Some…not so much (i.e. Shrimp Shapes – whatever the crap those things were).
This week, we decided to revisit our past and remake some of our favorite school lunches and snacks. If you were to ask most people in small town Iowa what their favorite school lunch was, many of them (including us) would say, “Chili and Cinnamon Rolls.” So for the first day of Back To School Week at 1 cup Awesome, we decided to make this incredible lunch. If you did not grow up in a school that served these two foods together, it may sound like the weirdest combo ever. Please take our word for us on this…it is glorious.
Just when your mouth can’t handle any more spicy chili, you take a bite of the sweet, gooey cinnamon roll and all is right in the world.
To save time, we used our favorite store-bought cinnamon rolls, Rhodes. We served them with carrots, ice cold milk, fritos (to put in the chili), and of course, The Best Chili Ever.
You may be thinking, “that is pretty bold to call your chili the best ever.” Here’s the deal, everybody likes chili the way that they like it. Profound…we know. Almost every recipe is different in some way and people like different things in their chili. We know exactly how we like ours, so to us this is truly the best chili ever! We prefer a hearty chili over a “soupy” chili. Because of that, we don’t add any tomato juice. There are two other things that make this original chili recipe our favorite…beer and buffalo wing sauce. Yes. That is right.
Beer + Hot Wing Sauce = The Best Chili Ever.
The Best Chili Ever
Total Time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 lb ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bottle of beer
15 oz pinto beans
15 oz dark kidney beans
15 oz cannellini beans
30 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
28 oz crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you like your chili)
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or sauce pan. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat until browned. If there is a lot of fat from the meat, drain it at this time.
Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander and the salt and pepper.
Add a bottle or can of your favorite beer and turn the heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until most of the liquid from the beer evaporates.
Bring the heat back down to medium. Stir in the beans, fire roasted tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes.
Finally, stir in the “secret weapon.”
Here’s the deal. We both like spicy food, but we don’t like pointless spice. By pointless spice, we mean flavorless spiciness that makes food unbearable and undesirable to eat. If we add spice, we want it to add flavor. Buffalo wing sauce accomplishes that. It adds a little kick, but also that famous buffalo wing sauce flavor. Win.
Allow the chili to simmer at medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with shredded cheese and Fritos Corn Chips.
One of the best parts about this recipe is that it feeds our whole family for a couple days. We think that chili sometimes tastes even better on the 2nd or 3rd day!
Can you see why this is one of the favorite school lunches for most small-town Iowans? How can you resist the hearty bowl of chili and the warm, gooey cinnamon roll. Mmmmmmm.
What was your all-time favorite school lunch?