The weather here in Oklahoma is finally getting chilly! I’m so excited to be slow-cookin my way into cooler weather these days. As my patience for reading through recipes gets slimmer (’cause……twins!) I find myself throwing ingredients together in a mad dash between entertaining and feeding two babies. Sometimes my ‘lil on-the-spot meal creations fail. But every once in awhile……they WIN!
I’ve got a winner for ya.
I’ve noticed that most people don’t put a base of some sort underneath their chili when it’s served. Well, my sweet southern belle of a mama raised me differently. Mom would typically cook up some white rice and use that as a base for the chili and it was deeee-lish! But recently I got the inspiration to use cheesy grits as a heavenly little platform instead.
Oh my gosh.
It was pure heaven.
I made this on Sunday afternoon, stored it in the fridge (where it only continued to grow more and more delicious), then by Monday afternoon I was ready for a hearty lunch. I came home from taking the twins with me to Target and they were still asleep in their car seats. WIN! I whipped up some grits, added freshly grated cheese, topped the dish with chili, then more cheese for the garnish, and then…The Hallelujah Chorus broke into song. It was delicious, hearty, and good for my tired mama soul. Do you have a tired soul these days? I highly recommend trying this recipe. Your soul and stomach will thank you.
Here’s the lineup:
For the chili…
- 1 pound (or so) – Ground Beef
- 1 – Yellow Onion, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup – beer (whatever you have, but a full bodied beer is best!)
- 2 cups – Marinara Sauce
- 1 can – Diced Tomatoes
- 1 can – Kidney Beans, drained
- 1 can – Pinto Beans, drained
- 2 tablespoons – Chili Powder
- 1 tablespoon – Cumin
- 2 tablespoons – Garlic Powder
- 2 tablespoons – Italian Seasoning Mix
- 2 teaspoons – Salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon – Cayenne Pepper
For the grits…
- 1⁄4 cup – Quick Grits
- 1 cup – Water
- 1 tablespoon – Butter
- 1⁄4 cup – Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (mostly for the grits, the rest for the garnish)
- Salt – to taste
Combine all of the dry seasonings (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, italian seasoning mix, salt, and cayenne pepper) into a small dish, then set aside until Step 3.
Cook the ground beef in a skillet so that it’s just browned. Drain the excess fat, then return the ground beef to the stove.
Add dry seasonings to skillet, coating the browned ground beef. Be sure to turn the heat to low.
Pour the seasoned ground beef into the slow cooker. Add the following: raw coarsely chopped yellow onions (I don’t recommend cooking the onions with the ground beef in step 2 because it gives a slight crunch to the chili – loved it!), drained pinto and kidney beans, diced tomatoes, beer, and marinara sauce. Stir well to combine all that gloriousness.
Set it and forget it, y’all! Set it on high, and stir occasionally if you have time. 2 to 3 hours later your home will smell heavenly.
Once the chili is ready you can get the instant grits going in a saucepan. First, boiling your 1 cup of water, then add the grits, salt (to your taste), and butter. Be sure to stir this well to avoid clumps. Then…the cheese! Stir the shredded cheese into your grits. Add enough cheese until it tastes just right for you.
Layer the cheesy grits first, then the chili, then some more shredded cheese for garnish.