Game Day Chili

There’s not much better on a brisk Fall day than a good football game and a house that smells like chili.  I make no guarantees on the games today, but the house smells great.  I had to start the chili early this morning so I can get my yard work done before the games start.  Before long the whole neighborhood will smell like chili.  Yum!

Chili is one of those things that lends itself to a lot of creativity.  No recipe or measuring needed.  I make it differently every time.  Today’s chili is a ground beef chili.  Feel free to substitute stew beef if you prefer it.  This chili is also really good with cubed pork.  Use more or less chipotle chile depending on how much heat you like.  Do start the chili early so the flavors have time to develop and the chili has time to thicken.

Today I have the Clark family of Greenway Beef to thank for the ground beef.  (As an aside I can’t say enough good things about these folks.  My first visit to their stand at the Lakeside Farmer’s Market resulted in me leaving with 4 pounds of ground beef with just a promise to send a check for payment.  Since then I haven’t bought beef anywhere else.  If you have the opportunity to support Clark Farms you should do it).  This is terrific beef.  Full of flavor, but not fat.  I won’t have to skim this chili at all.  I also used 1/2 lb of meatloaf mix because I had it in the freezer. Of course tomatoes canned this summer. I used one can of beans and one can of hominy. Hominy is the whole corn kernel without the hull. Dried and ground we call it grits. Whole it adds a nice firm texture to chili.  I like lighter beans, but use whatever kind you have.  I also use a little dark cocoa powder.  It adds a nice rich, dark flavor.

I serve this with sour cream, but not cheese.  Do whatever you like.  Today I’ll also be serving this with cornbread so heat up your cast iron skillet and stay tuned for that recipe!

Good? Always.
Easy? Absolutely.
Good for company? Feeds a crowd anyway. Perfect for dinners in front of the TV.
Special shopping? Nope. Use what you have.

Game Day Chili


1 lb ground beef, use pasture fed if you can
1/2 lb meatloaf mix (equal parts ground beef, pork and veal)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 quart plus 1 pint whole peeled tomatoes
1 can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed
3 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and chopped
1 tsp chile powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp cocoa powder
salt to taste


Brown ground beef in a large pot. Add onion and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, partially covered, 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally. Serve with sour cream to cut the heat.


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