I made a batch of daddy’s chili last night. I hadn’t made it in years, but it was every bit as good as I remembered. I ate a lot of his chili when I was growing up. It was one of the few dinners he cooked – and definitely the most requested.
Unlike Mamaw, daddy didn’t have recipes. He winged everything. Nothing he ever made tasted the same twice. Every once in a while, he threw in random ingredients like corn or sausage. He couldn’t stand for things to be the same all the time. Daddy was chaotic – change was his comfort zone.
Like daddy, his chili was both fiery and comforting. By the time I was 16, I had memorized the basics of his chili recipe. You’ll find it below. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I have over the years!
Daddy’s Chili Recipe
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion – diced
- 1 red bell pepper – diced
- 1 tsp. crushed garlic
- 1 ib. of ground beef
- 2 McCormick Chili Seasoning packets
- 2 T. Italian seasoning
- 1 T. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 T. Texas Pete
- 1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon – Beef
- 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can of chili beans
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 16 oz. water
- Add the olive oil, onion, crushed garlic, and bell pepper to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until done, stirring occasionally.
- Add McCormick seasoning packets and other dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.
- Add the Texas Pete, Better than Bouillon, tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, tomato paste, and water. Stir well.
- Bring the chili to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- I don’t like super thick chili – so you may want to play with the amount of water in the recipe to reach the consistency you prefer.
- Don’t be scared to throw in some sausage, corn, or mushrooms. Sometimes change is nice. 😉
- You can make a mild version by leaving out the Texas Pete, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper.
- Try various toppings. Onions, green onions, oyster crackers, sour cream, croutons, Fritos, and shredded cheese are all great options.
- Chili goes great with cornbread!