Thursday, December 29, 2011

Brrrr! It's Chili!

"I just wish I had time for one more bowl of chili." -- Kit Carson's last words (according to Wikiquote).

I'm not sure I'd want chili for my last meal, but I do love a good bowl of chili, especially with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese on top and some hot, crispy cornbread on the side.  It's hard to beat on a cold night.

I usually make chili the way my mother makes it, which is to say, with dried kidney beans and no recipe.  Just throw in chili powder until the color looks right.  But just for you, I've figured out the proportions and written down the recipe.  

There are lots of good chili recipes out there with different bean combinations, different meats, more vegetables, but this is a good, basic chili that is always popular.

This recipe is for a flavorful, but mild, chili.  You can add more chili powder and cayenne if you want more heat.  In any case, I recommend tasting the chili part way through cooking to adjust the seasoning.  Chili powders vary in their spiciness.  And, yes, using dried beans takes more time than using canned beans, but there is no comparison in the quality of the chili.  It really is worth the extra time.  

With some Martha White skillet cornbread on the side!

Sweet Posy Dreams Mild Chili

1 pound dried kidney beans
1 – 1 ½ pounds ground chuck
1 large onion, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder (add more for spicier taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (more for spicier)
Water to fill the tomato can (28 oz.)  2 ½ times

Sort the kidney beans, removing bad beans.  Rinse the beans thoroughly in cool water.  (I put the beans in the pot, cover with water and swirl the beans around to wash, then drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.)  Place beans in a heavy stock pot and cover with about 2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover beans.  Let sit about an hour.

While beans are soaking, break up ground chuck in a non-stick skillet.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add onion and brown meat until completely cooked. 

Drain beans in colander and return to stock pot.  Using a slotted spoon to allow fat to drain, spoon meat and onion mixture into beans.

Open canned tomatoes and drain juice from can into the stockpot.  Cut up tomatoes, removing the cores, and add to pot.  (You can use diced tomatoes rather than whole if you want to skip this step, but I like the whole tomatoes because they are softer and cook down better than diced canned tomatoes.)  Use the tomato can to add water to the beans.

Add chili powder and cayenne.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a near boil, reduce heat, and simmer with lid askew on pot to allow steam to escape.  Simmer about 2 hours, or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.  It’s hard to overcook the chili as it gets better the longer the flavors are allowed to meld. 

Printable recipe


  1. You know, I've never made Chili but the mister likes it - maybe I'll try this but make it with veggie "meat." I'll let you know how it turns out!

  2. I love Chili - we actually eat a TON of soup in the winter. It is so filling and warming! Thanks for sharing!

    Brandi - Etsy Blog Team

  3. Your chili looks good!

    I make mine from my own recipe. I love it and it gets requested by folks for me to bring. I too, love cheese sprinkled on top! You know, chili sounds pretty good today!

    Following your blog now.

    Stopping by from Blogging Buddies


  4. That looks just like the chili my mom used to make - which I LOVED! Chili is one of the best meals and so versatile. In fact, I made chili and cornbread last night!

    Empty On the Inside
    Dough, Dirt & Dye

  5. The perfect comfort food duo: chili and cornbread! Yum!

  6. Yum! Thanks for the recipe. Yup--chili and cornbread make winter tolerable.

  7. Sounds yummy and very similar to my chile recipe. Love me some chili and cornbread! MMMM!

  8. Chili sounds good! I'll have to make some soon!


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