When I was growing up, my mother made chili quite often. She made it the traditional way, with hot peppers, green peppers, onions and chili powder. I love it that way and make it that way myself at times. My husband though, does not like onions or the peppers cooked in it. His family made it using a family recipe that supposedly was a secret recipe. It is not a secret anymore! I am posting it here. The family members who made it are all dead or in their nineties. I don't think they really care anymore. Besides this way more people can try it.
The first thing you do is to cut up the bacon and fry it. I am cooking it here on the wood heating stove. You can cook it anywhere you like. Many times, I will cook it and the ground beef in the oven at the same time. This time I cooked it on the heating stove to conserve fuel. I used a two pound package of thick cut bacon. Depending on how much you are making, is how you decide if you want a lot of bacon or just a little. We like a lot of bacon and I was trying to make a full roasting pan.
Ground beef frying
Since this pot of chili was a double batch, I used a big package of ground beef. Again you can adjust it to how much you want. I have also used other ground meats in chili and even have made it with Spam. Yes, whatever kind of meats you have will give you a whole new taste. Ground sausage is good in it too.
Home canned kidney beans
The kidney beans I use, I can myself from dried beans. Sometimes I only put one pint in, and at other times I may add as many as three or four. No set amount and you can even use other types of beans if you want. Do not drain the beans! Pour the whole jar or can right in including the liquid from the can.
Tomatoes growing in your garden are best!
Most years, I have always had my own canned tomatoes that came from my garden. The last two years, I have not had any tomatoes from my garden, as they had the Late Blight. Ruined my whole crop. I am hoping this year to finally get a type of tomato that will not suffer from that.
Or you can purchase at the store
For chili I use canned crushed tomatoes. You can use whole ones, pureed or even stewed it you choose. I added a can of tomato juice to it also. Add enough tomatoes to make the chili liquid and not too thick. We like it thick, but I need some liquid in it too. Once everything is added and mixed together, you can add garlic to it or chili powder. As I said in the beginning, for this chili recipe I do not. In my other types of chili recipes, I make a little hot. My son adds a little hot sauce to his bowl at the table.
Lupole's Family Chili Recipe
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bacon, cut in small pieces
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
1 large can tomato juice
2 large cans kidney beans, undrained
Fry the ground beef and bacon separately and drain. Add to the chili pot and then add all the other ingredients. Mix together. If you want, you may add chili powder or other chili seasonings, to taste. Put in a 350 degree oven, or set on a wood stove with a trivet underneath it. Let simmer slowly overnight. I like to cook it for a long time at a low temperature. Or turn it off at night, but keep it warm. Heat it the next day and serve with Oyster crackers.
It is always better the next day!
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, good!
Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole