It’s Chili Inside

All right, I warned you I was gonna pass out my recipe for chili.  You can try it and pass out later.

We never had chili when I was a kid.  We lived too far north to even hear of it.  Didn’t know what chili powder was.  My Mom’s spice rack had salt and pepper.  Ketchup was adventurous, although just after the ice-age, we called it catsup.  We were one of the first, daring families in our town to try Chef Boy-Ar-Dee’s boxed pizza mix.  We didn’t have a pizza tin, so we made it on a 9 X 13 cookie tray.  Perforce, it was a thin-crust pizza.  I learned to add a bit of flour to increase the crust, and add barbecue sauce or tomato juice to the kit’s little can of pizza sauce.  I grated extra cheddar for the top, but my mom couldn’t tell me what was in the spice mixture.  The wife has two racks, with 36 spices, and 24 herbs

Chili is a poor family’s meal.  Chili con carne means with meat, and is a small step up.  Often people saved money by adding things to the basic recipe, to stretch it, to feed more kids.  My wife’s family had nine kids.  They needed to stretch it as far as they could.

Basic chili con carne has meat, tomatoes, beans and chili powder.  After that, you can be as creative as you want.  Normally, the con carne means ground beef, but you can use ground pork, ground turkey – dark meat or light.  You can put in steak chunks if you can afford it.  The wife’s family’s recipe is below, complete with secret ingredient.  With lots of exceptions, women are often, merely cooks, following recipes, and men are the more creative chef types.  What I’m saying is, don’t get hung up on how many grains of salt.  Find out what works for you and your family, and go with it.

List Of Ingredients

1 to 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef

1 large cooking onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon chopped/grated garlic, fresh pressed or bottled – more, or less, to taste

1 – 29 oz. Can diced tomatoes

1 – 19 oz. Can red kidney beans

1 – 12 oz. Can Chili-style beans – Optional – if available, or any type of baked beans

1 – 10 oz. Can mushroom stems and pieces – optional

2  tablespoons chili powder – more, or less, to taste

Tabasco sauce, or equivalent, optional, know your eaters’ tastes and limits

Secret Ingredient/Chili Extender – leftover spaghetti, chopped to 1 to 2 inch pieces.  Adds a bit more meat and tomato flavor, as well as cheap carbs.  Strictly optional.


Preparation/Cooking Instructions

Basic instruction, Stir, stir, stir.  This is a thick soup/stew.

Chop onion fine

Add onion and garlic, salt and pepper to ground meat in large pot.  Break meat up fine and mix with onion/garlic.   Cook till done and liquid is driven off.  Add tomatoes.  Bring back to light boil.  Add kidney beans, bring back to heat.  Add chili-style or baked beans, bring back to heat.  Add mushrooms, if desired, and chopped, cooked spaghetti, a double handful, or as far as you want to stretch it, bring back to heat.  I add 6 or 7 drops of Tabasco.  BrainRants would use Sriracha.  Your tongue may differ.  Add desired amount of chili powder and stir well. Total preparation time to this point, including chopping onion and garlic, 45 minutes.  Turn heat to minimum and allow to meld.  Stir occasionally.  A half hour to hour allows flavors to blend.  You can add small chunks of cheddar, Monterey Jack, or other cheese to go con queso, stir in, or serve separately.  Serve with saltine crackers, nacho-style chips, or toast.  Serves four to five hungry men, or an entire church social.

I had a hilarious story about super-hot Texas Chili that I was going to include, but I’ve rambled on too long with this cooking show, and I can’t seem to find it in the computer files.  What I think I’ll do is wait a couple of days, until you are allowed back in the house after all these beans, and then post the chili story as a follow-up, when I can find it.  Happy eating.

7 thoughts on “It’s Chili Inside

  1. Jim Wheeler says:

    Interesting. My own expertise is in the eating, not the preparation, but I did check with my favorite chef and Mollie said her recipe was similar to yours. She uses canned tomato soup instead of chopped tomatoes – that might sound a little tacky but I can attest that the product is very tasty. She uses one thing your recipe doesn’t have though, a chopped bell pepper that adds positively to the texture. And she uses “chili beans” rather than kidney beans – they look alike to me.

    Man, I do love chili, and once in a while we will indulge in Mollie’s chili over hot dogs. If I had to choose a last meal, at least right now, I think that’s what I’d pick. Who needs French chefs when you can have food like that?


  2. whiteladyinthehood says:

    mmmm…I love chili…sounds good, chef! (I thought the mushrooms were the secret indgredient!)


    • Archon's Den says:

      There’s no secret about mushrooms….they’re GRREAT! The son and I stuff ourselves while the wife cooks and eats salmon and rice. She’s allergic to mushrooms, but doesn’t eat chili because we make it too hot. Then we put away a container for the son to take to work, one for me for a lunch, and a couple for my daughter, LadyRyl. Her son’s allergic to tomatoes, and she loves anything like this that she can have when he’s not home.


  3. Sounds good! I’ve never made chili before, I’ll have to try it.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Go get a can of Stagg Chili. This is not a recipe for a single person, unless you have Lots of freezer space. After my brother’s divorce, he would make up a batch this size and take it to work for lunch, every day for a week. I could barely live with the same thing every day for lunch. I marvel that he lived with not ever taking it off the stove and refrigerating it.


      • Thanks for the warning! That’s one of the hardest things about trying to eat healthier home-made foods, instead of getting bad for me carry out or fast food all the time. If I’m going to cook, I want it to count, but then I’m stuck with the same thing over and over and over. I’m trying to find some things that work for me. I just went to the grocery store tonight after work and thought of you and this chili recipe. But I couldn’t remember what beans to get, so I decided to wait til next time. Maybe I can cut the recipe in half or something.


  4. Sightsnbytes says:

    pretty impressive, not only do you post every other day, but you also include tomorrow’s supper recipe. Grate job (cheesy joke for the day)


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