Everyone loves chili. It’s such a great all around dish and perfect for a cool Fall day. Everyone has a favorite recipe for chili, maybe one that was passed down through the family. I remember my mom always used Brooks Beans and Gravy in hers. This is a spin-off of that recipe, with some changes and additions I’ve made. What’s best–it’s a dish for a couple of days, or just great for a crowd.


This can also be easily adapted to become a vegetarian dish by omitting the beef. Peppers are a good addition, too, if you want more vegetables. It’s like a stew, a good dish to help clean out the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. Cooking should be relaxed and fun, and not so rigidly adhering to everything that it never gets done.

I keep the ingredients for this recipe in my pantry and I usually have ground beef in the freezer, so it can be made anytime.

Chili with Beef and Beans

1 lg. red onions, diced
8 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 lbs. lean ground beef
12 oz. beef broth
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tbs. Hungarian paprika
1 tbs. cumin
3 tbs. chili powder
dash of red pepper flakes
hot sauce to taste

1. Saute the onions until soft in olive oil and add the garlic and jalapeno and saute them for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook till brown and broken up.

2. Add the spices and continue to cook a few minutes to incorporate the flavors.

3. Add the tomatoes, broth and beans and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Season with the hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with scallions, cheddar cheese and sour cream, for some added flavor and color.

*A note about seasoning with salt and pepper. I season as I go, not all at the end. I season the beef when it’s cooking, add a little more seasoning with salt when I add the beans, etc. and then the seasoning at the end is the final touch, to obtain just the right balance of flavor. The idea is to enhance all of the flavors, the salt brings out the flavors, not to make the dish taste salty. I also always use kosher salt or good sea salt on a fancier dish, such as a good piece of fish.

Please leave your favorite chili ingredients in the comments!