Chuck Noll Chili

Today we are celebrating Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Noll's 82nd birthday! 

As head coach of the Steelers from 1969 until 1991, Noll took the team from a 1-13 record in his first season to four-time Super Bowl champs, also making him the winningest head coach in NFL history. Noll coached Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Mel Blount, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann and John Stalworth for their entire playing careers, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame himself two years after his retirement in 1993. 

And how are we celebrating? With chili! 

I've made mention my murky culinary past in previous posts - as in, I wasn't even allowed to use the microwave when I was growing up, let alone knives or the oven. In spite of this, chili was the first thing that Kathy taught me to cook. It's incredibly easy and filling, doesn't use more than a stock pot and a cutting board, and you can add just about anything you like to it. I use San Marzano tomatoes, peppers, onion, lots of beans, corn and ground Chuck (tee hee). You can make it vegetarian if you prefer and omit the beef.

Ultimately, the spices are the key players. I've never been a fan of five-alarm, excruciatingly spicy chili (like, singe-your-tastebuds spicy), but bland chili doesn't cut it either. I like mine sweet and spicy. In addition to chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne and smoked paprika, cinnamon and honey are the game changers. 

Happy Birthday, Coach!

Chuck Noll Chili
A Stiller Nation Snacks N'at original

1 tbsp olive oil
medium yellow onion, diced
red bell pepper, diced
yellow bell pepper, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 32 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
15 oz can black beans
15 oz can white beans
15 oz can whole kernel sweet corn
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne

Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat and add peppers and onions. Add ground beef, stirring together and breaking up beef with large wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until beef is browned, about 5 minutes. 

Add tomatoes and sauce from cans, breaking up tomatoes with spoon. Drain canned beans and corn of liquid, then stir in beans and corn. Stir in honey, chili powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon, garlic powder and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 1 hour. (As with most soups, stews, etc., the flavors will really come together nicely if you refrigerate overnight.) Top bowls with shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese and serve with bread.

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