World’s Best Chili

31 Dec

Last Saturday, we took dinner to my mother-in-law’s house.  Usually, she’s feeding all of us but after all the work she did for the Christmas feast, we wanted to give her a break so I made my World’s Best Chili and took it over there.  It was a huge success.  When we eat chili, we eat it “make your own” style.  By which, I mean that there is a big pot of chili and then a billion bowls of fixins.  Our family likes:

  • grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • Buffalo Chipotle Sauce
  • chopped avocado
  • chopped onions
  • sliced jalopeños
  • chopped black olives
  • and, of course, fritos

Although, fritos properly go in the bowl before the chili, thus making the delicious concoction of Frito Pie.

When we’re in a hurry, we used canned chili but when I have time to really cook, I make my own chili.  This is, of course, what I took to my mother-in-law’s house.  I also left out the fritos as, really, I’m the only one in my family who likes it that way (I am the only one in my family who spent significant time in Texas as a child).  So, I brought cornbread.  It was delicious and here is the recipe:

World’s Best Chili

1 lb (or so) stew beef (or a cheap roast cut up into big chunks)
(note: you can substitute hamburger meat but the stew meat
is WAY better!)
1 pkg Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 8 oz can of water
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes (could be fresh, of course)
1 16 oz can pinto beans
3 T olive oil
1 c flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 whole onion, chopped coarsely

Add oil to frying pan, heat. Mix garlic powder, pepper, and flour in shallow
dish. Add beef and coat in flour mixture. Brown beef in frying pan.
When browned, pour the whole lot (scrape the pan!) into your crock pot.

If you have all day, set crockpot to low.  If you don’t have a whole day, do it on high but know the beef won’t be as tender.

Open the Carroll Shelby bag. Set aside the masa packet for later.
Open the large bag of spices, pour all of it into the pot. Add salt
(white packet) to taste. The small red packet is chili powder. Add
this to your taste. When I’m making for just Greg and I, I dump the
whole thing in. If I’m making it for others, I do about half.
Haven’t had any complaints even among chili-wimps. 🙂 Even the whole
packet is not mouth blistering hot but it is too hot for the kids to
really enjoy.

Add the tomato sauce and canned tomatoes. Add 8 oz can of water.
Stir it all up and leave it alone to cook.

1/2 hour before serving, open the can of beans and add to the pot.
Put the contents of the yellow packet into a small bowl, add approx.
1/2 c of water. Whisk together. Pour contents into the pot. Stir and
let cook for about 1/2 hour.

I have also made a vegetarian version when we had a chili party and some of the guests were vegetarians.  It was a huge hit and some of the non-vegetarians (meat-a-tarians!) opted for it as well.  🙂 Here is that recipe, too.

Vegetarian Chili

1 lb portobello mushrooms, thick slices
2 cups frozen corn
4 peppers (green, red, yellow, orange, in any combination)
1 whole onion, chopped coarsely
1 pkg Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 8 oz can of water
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes (could be fresh, of course)
1 16 oz can pinto beans
3 T olive oil
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper

Chop peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces. Put in crockpot. Set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan, brown mushrooms and onions. You want them to be
softened and browned but not thoroughly cooked. Put the mushrooms in
your crock or stock pot — scrape the pan.

When browned, pour the whole lot (scrape the pan!) into your crock pot.

If you have all day, set crockpot to low.  If you don’t have a whole day, do it on high but know the beef won’t be as tender.

Open the Carroll Shelby bag. Set aside the masa packet for later.
Open the large bag of spices, pour all of it into the pot. Add salt
(white packet) to taste. The small red packet is chili powder. Add
this to your taste. When I’m making for just Greg and I, I dump the
whole thing in. If I’m making it for others, I do about half.
Haven’t had any complaints even among chili-wimps. 🙂 Even the whole
packet is not mouth blistering hot but it is too hot for the kids to
really enjoy.

Add the tomato sauce and canned tomatoes. Add 8 oz can of water.
Stir it all up and leave it alone to cook.

1/2 hour before serving, open the can of beans and add to the pot.
Put the contents of the yellow packet into a small bowl, add approx.
1/2 c of water. Whisk together. Pour contents into the pot. Stir and
let cook for about 1/2 hour.

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6 Responses to “World’s Best Chili”

  1. Beth 31 December, 2008 at 3:19 am #

    That looks good. I think it will be our New Year’s treat. Happy New Year.

  2. Lynne at Hasty Brook 31 December, 2008 at 6:53 am #

    Yum- sounds good. We eat our chili served over a scoop of hot white rice. (We’re from Minnesota you know, and never pass a chance to eat white food!)

  3. robin andrea 31 December, 2008 at 7:27 am #

    That vegetarian recipe looks like something we’d definitely try. Yum. Happy New Year to you and yours, liza.

  4. Pam 31 December, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Mmmm, they both sound really yummy!! I made dinner and artichokes french for my Mom for X-Mas for a switch for her.

  5. Gary 1 November, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    BEANS IN CHILI!! NO WAT THIS SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED UNLESS YOU ARE MAKING CHILI CON CARNE, BUT NOT EVEN IN YOUR CHILI!!

    • Liza Lee Miller 1 November, 2009 at 11:39 am #

      Dude, you are, of course, entitled to your opinion but you just can’t make this a hard and fast rule — too much of the chili eating world disagrees with you. Don’t want beans? leave them out. Done. No worries. Chill!

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