This is the classic All-American Beef Chili recipe from my favorite cookbook, unfortunately no longer in print. (America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook). It is an October Staff Lunch staple, and there is nearly always a bag in the freezer in case Than gets a sudden chili-for-dinner craving.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Cook until veggies have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so.
Add beef to veggies and spices. Increase heat to medium high. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink (around 10 minutes).
Stir in the beans (drained and rinsed), the diced tomatoes (undrained), and the tomato sauce. Add additional salt and chili powder to taste.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer until beef is tender, about another 45 minutes. Season again with salt, chili powder, and pepper before serving.
Chili can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for 3 months. Reheat over low heat, adding additional water or tomatoes as needed to adjust the consistency.