October 29, 2014


A big, hearty bowl of chili will take the chill right out of you. I made my first batch of the season this past weekend, and it really hit the spot. If you want to warm up your insides on a cold, blustery day (and you'd like to add a little spice to your life), then you'll enjoy this dish!

Chili is really so simple to make and you can adapt a few ingredients to your own personal taste. This recipe was actually given to me by a friend, and over the years I have fiddled and fussed until I got just want I wanted.

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 16 oz. can red kidney or pinto beans, drained (I've made it both ways, and now I prefer the pinto beans.)
2 16 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Tabasco
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg. onion, chopped
1/2 of a small jar of chili powder (Approximately a half ounce. You want the meat completely covered.)
2 Tablespoons cumin
1 cup of water
A healthy swig of cognac or brandy, or a half bottle of good beer.

1. Combine all of the liquid ingredients into a large pot and set aside.
2. Saute the ground beef with the chopped onion in a skillet.
3. When the beef is half done, add the chili powder, garlic, and cumin. The consistency of the beef is up to you. I like to really grind it up, so I use a slotted spoon and mash the beef together with the onion before I add my spices.
4. Stir and heat through.
5. When the beef is done cooking, use a slotted spoon to scoop up the beef and leave the excess fat behind.
6. Add the beef mixture to your pot of liquid ingredients. Add water and stir everything together, then add the cognac or beer. (I like the smokiness the liquor provides.)

The key to good chili is to let the flavors simmer and sit. (You can use a slow cooker if you'd like.) It tastes best the next day, but a few hours on the stove top should do it.