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I’ve never been much of a sports fan. There was a time, not too long ago, when the last place you’d find me on a Sunday afternoon was watching football. Don’t get me wrong, I did a fair amount of tailgating in college. I was just never that interested in the game. Then Evan came into my life and slowly, over several LONG seasons, converted me into a New England Patriots fan. I still haven’t forgotten that Tom Brady played for the University of Michigan (the enemy!) when I was in college, though…

Catching the Pats game in Chicago used to mean going out somewhere that had the NFL Sunday Ticket. After two seasons of cozying up to the bar every Sunday (with the mile-long tabs to show for it), we decided that it was time for us to invest in the Ticket at home. Now our house is the Sunday hangout for all our friends, where we gather around the TV eating, drinking, and being merry.

My favorite dish to serve on football Sundays is chili. It’s perfect because once it’s all put together, it’s pretty much ready to eat. The real beauty of chili, though, is it can simmer all day, filling the house with mouth-watering anticipation. I transfer mine into my slow cooker to keep it bubbling and warm throughout the afternoon. That way, any time somebody gets a hankering, all they have to do is ladle a scoop (or three!) into their bowl, top it with a dollop of sour cream, some shredded sharp cheddar, and a few scallions, then dig in! The flavor just gets better the longer it sits!

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Note: The following recipe is a triple batch, which serves 10-12 people. You can reduce it accordingly if you are serving a smaller crowd.

Heat a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, swirl to coat, then add 2-1/4 lbs. ground sirloin. Cook until browned, crumbling the meat with a wood spoon or spatula as it cooks.

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Once the ground sirloin is cooked, add 4-1/2 cups of chopped onion along with 3 tablespoons chili powder and 3 teaspoons hot paprika.

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Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 12-15 minced garlic cloves. I used a whole bulb.

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Sauté for one minute, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from sticking to the bottom of your pan. Next, pour in 2 12-ounce bottles or cans of your favorite beer. I’ve used dark beer, such as porter or stout, in the past, but I prefer a lighter beer such as lager or ale.

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Bring to a boil and continue cooking until most of the liquid evaporates (leaving all the yummy flavor behind!).

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The rest is easy! Add 1-1/2 cups salsa verde, 3 4-ounce undrained cans diced green chiles, 3 15-ounce cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, 3 15-ounce cans drained and rinsed kidney beans, 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce, and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce. Stir to combine.

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You can continue simmering your chili on the stove for at least 30 minutes prior to serving, or you can transfer it to a slow cooker on the low setting. Serve it along with some tasty toppings such as sliced scallions, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Get creative and come up with your own toppings. However you decide to dress it up, enjoy!

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Football Sunday Chili

Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 65 minutes

1 tablespoon canola oil
2-1/4 lbs. ground sirloin
4-1/2 cups chopped onion
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons hot paprika
12-15 garlic cloves, minced
2 12-ounce bottles beer
1-1/2 cups salsa verde
3 4-ounce cans diced green chiles, undrained
3 15-ounce cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
3 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
Toppings of your choice

1)  Heat a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, swirl to coat, then add 2-1/4 lbs. ground sirloin. Cook until browned, crumbling the meat with a wood spoon or spatula as it cooks. Once the meat is browned, add 4-1/2 cups of chopped onion along with 3 tablespoons chili powder and 3 teaspoons hot paprika. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 12-15 minced garlic cloves. Sauté for one minute, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from sticking to the bottom of your pan.

2)  Pour in 2 12-ounce bottles or cans of your favorite beer. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Add 1-1/2 cups salsa verde, 3 4-ounce undrained cans diced green chiles, 3 15-ounce cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, 3 15-ounce cans drained and rinsed kidney beans, 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce, and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce. Stir to combine.

3) Simmer for 30 minutes and serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

*Adapted from Cooking Light.

Beef, Comfort Food, Main Courses