Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chili Heaven

There is something very comforting about a big pot of chili for me.  The source of my love for the stuff must be my mom.  She made awesome chili in a huge kettle. 

In addition to ground beef, she added bacon.  She was a very frugal person, but added bacon to lots of stuff.  Each time, she made a point of saying to everyone that bacon was expensive, but it was worth it for this particular recipe.  We often had cornbread with it.  We were allowed several toppings to both our chili and our cornbread.  To chili, we were allowed shredded cheese, saltine crackers, sour cream and chopped onion.  To cornbread, we had butter and something sweet, sometimes, honey, molassas, jam or dark karo syrup.  I know this wouldn't be for just everyone, but we all looked forward to this.

When we were finished with our meal, Mom spooned the remaining chili into Mason canning jars, put lids on them and put them in the freezer for other meals.  I have many happy memories of coming into the kitchen and seeing a frozen jar in the sink defrosting and being happy knowing that chili was coming. 

I don't have my mom's chili recipe.  Here is one my family likes a lot.  It is very good reheated, not very hot, but has lots of flavor. It still makes me happy to make it and eat it.  I'm just as happy to have left overs. 

Chili Chez Osborne (A modified version of a Taste of Home recipe)
3 lbs ground beef
1/2 large onion chopped.
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped.
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 can each (16 oz each) kidney and pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (29) oz tomato sauce
1 jar (16 oz) mild picante salsa
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained. 
1 can (10 1/2 oz) beef broth and 2 cups water
1 - 2 T. chili powder
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dried basil
2 T. ground cumin
2 t. A-1 steak sauce
1 t. salt.

In a large pot, cook meat, onion, pepper, celery, and garlic unil meat is no longer pink.  Drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Make sure to rinse the beans.  Canned beans have a starchy liquid on them which isn't good.  Bring to boil. 

Reduce heat, simmering uncovered for 30 minutes.  Use any left overs for other meals or for lunches.

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