Chili Beans

This was one of Marlys’s favorite recipes; she made it as a Halloween dinner just about every year. It is very rich in meat and flavor. There are plenty of options for adjusting the heat of the chili, from the amount of cayenne or hot sauce to add, to whether you add fresh peppers. I will discuss what I did below the recipe.
chili 005

Chili Beans

(Betty Smith, 1968)
(Altered by Marlys Crary)

  • 2 lb. hamburger, ¾ – 1 lb. sausage – combined
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder (or more)
  • 3 (16 oz) cans kidney beans
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 16 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz. water
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumen
  • cayenne, to taste
  • hot sauce (Tabasco), to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch or masa harina (optional)

Optional

  • 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded, de-veined, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh poblano pepper, seeded, de-veined, finely chopped

Brown meats. Add onion and garlic (and optional fresh peppers). Add chili powder, beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, 24 oz. water, salt, pepper, cumen, cayenne and Tabasco. Bring to a boil and simmer at least 1 hour before serving. Longer is better, and leftover better. May thicken with cornstarch mixed with an equal amount of water or masa harina .

When I recently made this recipe, I put in the jalapeno peppers but not the poblano pepper. I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne, and 3 Tablespoons of hot sauce. (My hot sauce is Cholula brand). This was more than enough heat for me, and I put a dollop of sour cream on the top of my serving to help me control the heat. I think the cayenne heat was what I was feeling because it was like an after-taste effect in the back of my throat. I have not had a problem with that amount of jalapeno pepper in a large amount of soup or chili.

For thickening, I used the masa harina option.

There seems to be a pattern in the recipe for the number 3; 3# meat, 3 cloves garlic, 3 Tablespoons chili powder 3 cans of kidney beans and 3 small cans of tomato sauce. It was this latter item that caught my eye- I buy a total of 24 oz. of tomato sauce, but in a 16 oz. plus an 8 oz. cans.

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