The Edible Bracket 2011

Last year's winners of the MNCAAPG Best Bracket contest are back. This March Madness season, we will be documenting foods associated with the competing schools. Consider it March Madness, Top Chef Edition.

Texas A&M Aggies (College Station, TX): Chili

chili_finished

For Texas A&M, a quintessentially Texas school, we wanted to do a classic Texas dish, so we immediately thought of chili.  We’re pretty sure that in Texas chili is usually made with beef.  But when Anna was 6, cows were her favorite animal, and she stopped eating beef.  While she has since re-discovered the joys of beef-eating (in moderation) she’s still not totally OK with bringing raw beef into her apartment, so she figured she’d make turkey chili.  But when you go to the Red Hook Fairway on a Sunday night, it’s pretty slim pickings, so we had to settle for ground lamb instead.

chili_no turkey

1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey or, apparently, lamb)
2 small or 1 large can of kidney beans
1 28-once can whole peeled tomatoes
chili powder
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese (for topping)

Pour olive oil into a large saucepan and saute onions and garlic until onions are soft and garlic is fragrant.  Add ground meat and cook until almost cooked through.  Add beans and tomatoes to pan and mix until all ingredients are blended.  Add bay leaves, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes to half an hour.  Spoon chili into bowls and top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.