I like Chili a lot. A real lot. A really, really lot. Nothing beats a steaming bowl of homemade Chili on cold Fall and Winter evenings. And, I have been making Chili, THIS Chili pretty much the same way for over 40 years. Never a complaint from anyone which is nothing short of a miracle considering how many people have eaten it over the years. Everyone from young kids to Great Aunts have enjoyed this Chili so that’s why I call it “Family Favorite Chili.” But, ya know what? Until this day I have never written down the recipe. Nope, not once. I can’t tell you many people have requested this recipe over the years but I never had one to share with them. I just know what I put in it and go from there. But one of our daughter in laws specifically requested the recipe so I carefully measured and finally wrote it all down. The recipe as follows is for the smallest batch I would cook, but I have done essentially the same thing using 5 lbs of either ground beef or ground venison. Just double, triple or quadruple all the ingredients. What I want to accomplish in making a really good Chili is a depth of flavor. Rich layers of flavor so that one ingredient is not dominant but each ingredient compliments the others. Sort of like a chorus were each singer could stand alone but when united they create beautiful music. Oh my, am I not poetic this morning? It’s 5:15 am and I have not had coffee yet. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. LOL! Before serving, taste and adjust for seasoning, usually a bit of salt if anything. Serve’er up with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, chopped onion and/ or sour cream. I make my Buttermilk Cornbread to go along with the Chili and all is right with my world. Enjoy!
I LOVE this stuff!
All righty, we’re going to build us some Chili and this is what we’ll need.
Karen's Family Favorite Chili
- 1 LB Ground Beef substitute Venison if you like
- 1-1/2 Cups chopped Onion I use a sweet Onion like Walla Walla
- 1 Cup diced Green Pepper
- 1 large diced Jalapeno Pepper about 3-4 inches long
- 1 Tsp minced Garlic
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp ground Cumin
- 1 Tsp Cocoa Powder secret ingredient!
- 3 TBSP Chili Powder please use top quality and not the stuff on the bottom shelf in the grocery store. It makes a world of difference
- 2 14 oz cans diced Tomatoes
- 1 28 oz can Dark Red Kidney Beans rinsed and drained!
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 TBSP Honey another "secret" ingredient, added at the very end
- Prepare the Onion, Garlic, Green and Jalapeno Peppers and set aside
- In a large kettle, brown the Ground Beef. Drain off any fat, then add the Onions, Garlic and Peppers. Let that simmer about 5 minutes until the vegetables are wilted. Stir it a few times.
- Stir in the spices. Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Cocoa Powder and Chili Powder until well combined.
- Drain and Rinse the Kidney Beans then add them to the Kettle.
- Stir in the diced Tomatoes and the 2 Cups of Water.
- Bring it all to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let the Chili cook for at least 1 Hour. ( up to 1-1/2 hours). Stir the pot several times to prevent the Chili from sticking and burning. Stir in that Tablespoon of Honey and simmer another minute or 2.
- That's it friends. That is one Kettle of flavor filled Family Friendly Chili! Serve with your favorite toppings. I like shredded Cheddar Cheese. Sparky likes it "loaded" with Cheese, Onions and Sour Cream. AND...there is nothing wrong with a Cast Iron Skillet of piping hot Cornbread to go with it!