This chili recipe is originally from my paternal grandmother, Inez who died long before I was born. Although I never had the opportunity to meet her, I have enjoyed many of Inez’s recipes through Aunt Gail’s cookbook, No Matter What, Just Keep On Cooking!
Below, is the story behind this recipe as told by Aunt Gail:
“[My mother] made the best chili I have ever eaten and when years later I gave the recipe to my friend, Joe Sluder, he won a Chili Cooking Contest in Atlanta, GA! This also used to be my ‘just in case’ meal. That meant just in case my kids brought home two or three unexpected friends for dinner (which often happened), I could pop this on the stove in a hurry and be sure they would be happy!”
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Freeze any leftovers.
- 2 lbs lean ground chuck (ground beef)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 regular size cans dark red kidney beans (drain juice from one of the cans)
- 2 (14.5 oz. cans whole tomatoes with their juice
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 lbs. chili powder (add more if you are brave enough, but taste first)!
- 1 ½ Tbsp. cumin (add more to taste in last 15 minutes of cooking if desired- Aunt Gail usually needs to do this)
- 2 tsp. sugar
- In a large Dutch oven (this is a large pot), brown the ground chuck with the onions, stirring constantly until the meat is no longer pink.
- Drain all of the fat from the mixture.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, squeezing the juice from each whole tomato and breaking the tomatoes up in your hands before adding them to the pot. (Be sure your hands are clean)!
- Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low or medium low, depending on how your stove cooks and cook for 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Mixture is done when it has become rather thick. You don’t want runny chili.
- Taste for seasonings and add more salt, chili, or cumin if needed. Some people can take it hotter than others.
Aunt Gail suggests serving with corn bread and turnip greens if you like “soul food.” Be sure to cook your turnip greens with a little fatback!