What Happens When You Cross Chili and Mac and Cheese?
|2||med||Onions, cut into small dice (about 3 cups)|
|2||Jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and minced (optional)|
|2-3||tsp||Salt, plus more for the pasta water|
|5||lbs||extra-Lean Ground Beef|
|5||Tbs||Mexican Chili Powder|
|1||Tbs||dried Mexican Oregano|
|1||28-oz can||Whole Plum Tomatoes, broken with your hands, with juices|
|2||15-oz cans||Kidney Beans, drained|
|1||lb||Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese|
|Sour Cream, for serving (optional)|
- Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, jalapeños (if desired), and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Cook until the onions are soft, 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef, chili powder, oregano, and garlic, and cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spoon, for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices, beans, and water. Stir, and bring the chili to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened to chili consistency, about 20 minutes. Taste, and add 1 more teaspoon salt if needed.
- While the chili is simmering, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place a 9 × 13½-inch or other 3-quart baking dish on a baking sheet. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook until just tender, 6 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cool running water, and set aside. Grate the cheddar cheese and set it aside.
- Once the chili has finished cooking, fold in the cooked macaroni and one- third of the cheddar. Transfer the chili- mac mixture to the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the chili is heated through and the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.