so, along with the recipe, i'll document the costs. these are manhattan grocery prices, which tend to be really high, but my neighborhood grocery store has decent weekly sales. with sale items and the spices i have at home, i made this batch of chili that will make at least 6-8 servings for less than seven dollars.
1 lb ground beef (in the interest of economy, i used ground chuck - $3.11)
1/2 large onion - finely chopped
1 28 ounce can whole or diced tomatoes in puree (on sale at .99 per can)
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce (.89 per can)
1 can pinto beans (.75 per can)
1 can white kidney beans (.75 per can)
1 cup chicken stock (homemade - i make in one cup batches and freeze)
1 tablespoon (or more) chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
in large pot, brown meat and onions together. add the cumin and half of the paprika along with salt and pepper to meat/onion mixture while browning. once meat is cooked through, add remaining ingredients, salt and pepper to taste. simmer on low heat, adding chili powder to taste (this is where the "or more" part comes in) as it cooks. i like to slow cook my chili for at least 3-4 hours. definitely a sunday afternoon kind of project.
i rinse beans before putting them in the chili -- i don't like the extra thickness you get from the starch in canned beans. but, i generally like a less-thick chili, thus the chicken stock. if you want something thicker, don't rinse the beans, eliminate the chicken stock, or add another can of beans.
serve over cornbread or with whatever chili fixins you like.