Claudia’s Chili

Before I left home for the first time, I sat down with my mother’s recipe box and wrote down my favorite dishes.  I had a hankering for chili this week end. I dug out my mother’s recipe and I was amazed to find that her “chili” did not actually include any chili!

I remember enjoying this dish as a child, but I find I cannot really consider it a “chili,” it was just beef and beans with some tomato. People enjoy what they are used to. This puts me in mind of a story a friend told us.

Our friends were living in a university town in Kentucky. The only “ethnic” food option of the town was Taco Bell. They were amazed to find that the “refried beans” on the menu consisted of white beans in catsup. If the restaurant wanted to stay in business, they had to serve what the locals would eat.

Claudia’s Chili


2 cups pinto beans, dry

1 lb. lean chopped beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large can tomatoes, chopped
⅛ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt


1. Wash beans three times and cover with 6 cups of water.

2. Bring beans to a boil for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat.

3. Cover pot and let stand for 1 hour.

4. Return the pot to the heat and boil until tender (approximately 1 hour).

5. Fry the beef, onion and garlic in a skillet.

6. Drain off any excess fat and add the tomatoes, pepper and salt.

7. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add them to the tender beans.

8. Continue simmering the chili for about half an hour.

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Filed under Beans, Beef, Main Dishes, Stews

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