Dad’s Rambling Chili Recipe

Well, it has been a strange week where I am. I was sick on Monday, went to work Tuesday, but then we had Snowpocalypse 2014 on Wednesday, so I was off again. It was cold and rainy, so what a better time to cook up a big pot of chili.

Now when you say chili recipe, that is like saying what is the best kind of pizza. There are as many ways to cook chili as there are people who eat it. Some have beans, no beans, turkey chili, even no meat chili. I will try all kinds of chili, and each recipe has it’s perks, but for me there is only one kind. Bean, meat, and a little bit of heat.

My mom has made chili for as long as I can remember, and this is a variation of her chili recipe. I prefer my chili to be a little on the spicy side (well, if I were eating it alone, I would say a LOT on the spicy side). Below if my recipe for chili, the way that I like to cook it.  It hasn’t won any awards, hasn’t been featured in southern living magazine, but I like it and this is how I make it! 


  • 3 cans of tomatoes
  • 3 cans red kidney beans
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs of meat (ground beef, turkey, venison)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Cumin – I use 4 teasopons
  • Chili powder  – I use 4 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper – about 1/2 teaspoon
  • Onion powder (1 teaspoon) or 1 onion, chopped fine
  • Tobasco – 10 shakes
  • Cayenne pepper – 5 shakes

Cook the mean in the pot that you are going to cook the chili in. I do this just to save a pot, but you can do it in a sauce pan if you like.  Once the meat is brown, take it out, drain the fat off and return it (the meat) to the pot


Add the tomatoes and the garlic and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, at this time you will probably need to add about a cup of water depending on the mixture. You want it to be a little soupy at this point, if it is mushy then add some water.  After the tomatoes have cooked, then add the beans, the onion powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

Cook it for an additional 20 minutes or so.  You want it to get a little thicker.  It should become more creamy than soupy at this point.  If it is too thick add a little more water.  Once it has cooked for about 20 minutes then I add the tobasco sauce and the cayenne pepper.  The above proportion makes it just a little spicy for flavor, but additional may be added if you like to kick it up a bit.  Experiment with this a little and you will find what works for you.


We like to add sharp cheddar, sour cream, and either saltine cracker or oyster crackers to it at the end.  The above recipe will make about 6-8 descent service size bowls.

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