There are certain things that you end up liking as a grown-up that you never imagined liking as a kid. For example, when I was growing up, I hated pecans, mustard, sauerkraut, and chili. My mother never made me eat everything, but she always asked me to taste “hated” foods each time they were served. She said that my tastebuds might change. Guess what!? They did! And now, one of my favorite fall recipes is Chili. There are so many wonderful ways to make chili, but I learned how to make traditional beef chili from the Big One’s grandfather, who he called Jedo. After having Jedo’s chili one night when we were visiting him, I had to learn how to make it myself. It took a little while to learn the exact recipe– while it’s a traditional beef chili with beans and ground beef, Jedo made it without specific measurements, based on taste. After a few years of practice, I’ve decided the seasoning proportions that work best for our family. I’ve been trying to make sure that I got the ingredients just right before I shared it here. I think it’s just about perfect now, so I’m delighted to share Jedo’s Traditional Beef Chili recipe with you today!
My favorite part of chili is how you can cook a huge pot of it, and then eat it for days. It’s great for dinner the night before the big game, and then you can heat it up in the slow cooker. You can freeze it, and then reheat it when you are short of time and need a quick dinner. Plus, chili is a lot like lasagna, it’s even better the next day. I think the ingredients just blend a little more overnight making the flavors even richer and yummier.
Jedo’s Traditional Beef Chili Ingredients
- 2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
- One Medium Sweet Onion, Chopped Finely
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Cups Tomato Puree (at least, sometimes I need to add more depending on thickness)
- 2 Cans Light Red Kidney Beans (both drained, 1 pureed)
- 2 Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans (both drained)
- 1 Can Navy Beans (drained)
- 1 Can Whole Corn (not drained)
- 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Salt, to taste (I usually end up adding about 2 Teaspoons)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce (to taste, depending on tolerance for heat and spice)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Ground Cumin (start with 2, and then add in 1 teaspoon increments as needed, be sure to balance with chili powder)
- 1-1.5 Tablespoons Chili Powder (start with 1, and then add in 1/2 teaspoon increments as needed, be sure to balance with ground cumin)
Directions for Traditional Beef Chili Recipe
Start with your largest Stock Pot (this is the one that I use!), and place it on the range. Open up 1 can of Light Red Kidney Beans, 2 cans of Dark Red Kidney beans, the can of Navy Beans drain them and pour them into the Stock Pot. (This is a great job for the Littles– my Monkey LOVES to “help” make chili!) Open the diced tomatoes, tomato puree and whole corn and pour them into the pot.
You should have one can of Light Red Kidney Beans left over. Open the can, drain it, and puree the beans in the food processor or blender. Why, you ask? Per Jedo, pureeing the Kidney Beans keeps the flavor consistent while adding some density and thickness to the chili. Pour the pureed beans into the stock pot. I also add about 1 teaspoon of salt into the mixture on the range, but this is based on my own taste. Turn the range on Medium-Low heat.
Chop the onion, and add the onion and ground beef into your skillet and start to brown the meat. Add the garlic powder, black pepper and salt (if desired). Once the meat is thoroughly browned, add it to the beans and tomatoes. Stir the chili thoroughly.
Now, you are going to start to season, and it should be a progressive process. Don’t dump them all in. Pace yourself and taste as you go. First, I add 1 Tablespoon of the Frank’s Hot Sauce, 2 Tablespoons of Cumin and 1 Tablespoon of Chili powder because I know that this is the best starting point. If you don’t like heat, then reduce the hot sauce. I’ve learned that the best ratio of seasoning for the Ground Cumin and Chili Power is 2 to 1. That means for every teaspoon of Cumin that you add, I add 1/2 teaspoon of Chili.
I don’t know why but each batch of chili can be a little different, and while I usually end up adding 2 Tablespoons of ground cumin and 1 Tablespoon of chili powder, sometimes it doesn’t taste like enough spice and flavor. That’s why I put a range, and adjust accordingly. The hot sauce is entirely a personal preference, and the Mellow Man prefers the 2 Tablespoons, I lean towards 1 Tablespoon.
The chili is going to cook over Medium-Low to Medium heat for about 90 minutes, but you will need to stir it regularly! In my view, you cannot overcook chili if you don’t make the heat too high, but you must stir it, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
I usually put out a selection of toppings for the family, including oyster crackers, cheddar cheese and chopped sweet onion. Often times I serve it with Cornbread. Regardless of what it’s served with Jedo’s chili is a crowd pleaser!
While we love Jedo’s Traditional Beef Chili recipe, there are so many different and yummy chili recipes out there. I’ve teamed up with 16 other awesome bloggers to share our favorite chili recipes. You can check them out below, but what’d we really would like you to do, is try a few of them out and come back in February to vote on your favorite chili recipe!
I can’t wait to hear which one you liked the best, and I hope that you’ll come back on February 28th and let me know.