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Cheeseburger Chili

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds ground beef (chuck for a more buttery flavored beef chili, sirloin for lean steak-like flavor)

3 tablespoons chili powder such as Gebhardt's Chili Powder, or ancho chile powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 onions, finely chopped

2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup organic ketchup, such as Heinz

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup yellow mustard, such as Ploughman's or French's

Hot sauce

One 14-ounce can red kidney beans, drained

Cheeseburger Sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups shredded mild yellow Cheddar

1/4 cup dill pickle relish

1/2 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped (1/4 to 1/3 cup)

To Serve:

Easy Oven Fries, recipe follows

Ripple potato chips

Chopped raw onions

Easy Oven Fries:

3 large starchy potatoes, scrubbed and dried

Olive oil cooking spray

Kosher salt and coarse black pepper


  1. For the chili: Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat the meat dry and add to the hot oil. Brown and crumble the meat until it is evenly caramelized. Add the chili powder and some salt and pepper. Stir. Add the garlic and onions; cook to soften, 7 to 8 minutes. Then add the beef stock, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard and hot sauce, to taste. Stir in the beans and reduce the heat to keep the chili at a simmer. Cook to thicken, partially covered, about 20 minutes. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat. Stir frequently. For the cheeseburger sauce: Melt the butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cook 1 minute, then add the milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and thicken to coat back of spoon. Stir in the cheese in a figure-eight motion. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the relish and raw onions, taste the sauce for seasoning. Cool and store. Reheat over medium-low heat, partially covered, stirring frequently. Alternatively, reheat in a microwave oven, partially covered, stirring occasionally until evenly hot through, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on high. Serve the chili in shallow bowls, topped with Easy Oven Fries or chips, cheese sauce and onions.

Easy Oven Fries:

  1. While the chili and sauce are heating up, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the oven rack in center of the oven. Cut the potatoes into planks lengthwise, then into thin sticks. Arrange the fries on a large baking sheet and spray evenly with cooking spray. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Then switch the broiler to high and cook until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more, turning once.