I love chili but have spent literally years looking for one that tastes good every time (or even one time). I was using my mother’s recipe but maybe my taste changed because it stopped tasting good. I hate when that happens.
Over the past maybe five years, I’ve been googling a new recipe almost every time I want to make chili and nothing ever tastes how I want it. And sometimes if I repeat one I already used, it doesn’t taste the same. I think this is because I am inconsistent with how much meat I use and also the amount of tomato sauce and the type and quantity of beans. 🤷🏻♀️
This article originally appeared on my old blog, Townsley Times. If you came here looking for this particular article but thought you were going to a different site, never fear, you’re actually in the right place. 🙂
I got tired of using recipes and adjusting them for the taste I’m trying to get so one night, I just winged it entirely. But I did keep track of what I was using just in case. Thank goodness I did, because it tasted great, and this recipe can be used for any amount of meat, sauce, or beans!
Here’s the secret. I didn’t measure almost anything aside from just noticing how much I sprinkled on. So yes, this is a recipe like Grandma’s where there are no real measurements. Sorry if that bugs you, but it works! I encourage you to give it a try.
Brown your meat in a large pot first. You can do this all in one pot. This is key! You want the meat to be in a small layer, not a real thick one, when you season it.
After browning your beef, drain it if necessary, then add the following:
- 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- pink salt all over twice
- a few shakes paprika
- small dash cayenne
- garlic powder all over
- onion powder all over twice
- a few turns of pepper grinder
- 2 tbsp chili powder
When I say “all over,” I simply mean to shake from up high (not super high, just generally slightly above the pot) until the whole surface is covered. Like real loosely do I say this. “All over twice” just means I doubled back and shook some more over it. The point is that you’re seasoning the meat you have in the pan, not just measuring out specific measurements that aren’t going to be the same if you are using more beans or more sauce or 1.25 pounds of meat instead of a single pound.
I also added one can of black beans and one 28oz can plus 1/3 15oz can of regular tomato sauce. I have also done this with two 15oz cans plus an 8oz can. This was added to a single pound(ish) of beef. Take that and vary it as you wish. This makes a semi-thick chili with a small amount of heat.
I would suggest that if you want to use more beans to double the amount of seasoning you use. Conceivably you could add onions, peppers, corn, or anything else you like in your chili, and treat it like you are adding more beans by increasing the seasoning. If you use more meat and it turns into a really thick layer of beef when you’re seasoning it, I would double it as well and stir it around real good so each piece of meat is getting some of the flavoring on it. Tip: You always want to season your meat, not the liquid chili after it’s all combined. This goes for any soup or casserole.
This chili recipe also pairs well with sweet cornbread! My favorite is from Gluten Free on a Shoestring and includes honey. So tasty. We also like to put cheese on our chili.