Fresh Garden Tomato Chili

From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1/2 Lb. lean ground beef

1/2 Lb. ground pork or ground turkey

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

*12 large ripe garden tomatoes (see notes down below)

1 Tbl. chili powder, or to taste

2 tsp. ground cumin, or to taste

2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste

1 tsp. oregano, or to taste

2 bay leaves, opt.

1 Tbl. brown sugar

salt and pepper

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can chili beans, undrained

For serving:

sour cream

shredded Cheddar cheese

chopped green onions

Fritos or tortilla chips

Brown ground beef and ground pork or turkey in a large pot over medium heat.  A few minutes before it is completely cooked through, add the chopped bell pepper and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 30 more seconds.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.  I like to simmer mine for at least 2 hours for better flavor.  The longer it simmers the more the liquid will evaporate.  If you like more liquid, then simmer with the lid on.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Remove bay leaves before serving. 

Garnish with sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and serve with Fritos or crushed tortilla chips.  Serves: 4-6.    

*For the tomatoes:  I like to remove the stem, cut the tomatoes in half and remove half of the seeds.  Then, I throw all of the tomatoes into my food processor and process until there are only a few chunks.  I pour the tomato puree into my chili.  The tomatoes break down when you cook them anyway, so I don't spend the extra time peeling or dicing them.

Or, if you prefer skinned and diced tomatoes, you can remove the peel, stem and seeds and dice, but this will take a lot longer.