Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Basic Chili

Basic Chili

3/4 lb browned ground beef
2 cups dry beans soaked overnight (at least 8 to 10 hours)
2 cups Tomato (sauce, soup, whatever you have)
onions (about half a medium onion )
black pepper
chili powder

I prepare the beans a few days in advance and let them spend one night in the fridge in their own juice. Soak beans over night. Boil them until very tender. Rest in fridge.

Set beans to drain over a bowl.

While the beans drain start browning ground beef. While beef is cooking add some garlic, black pepper, chili powder and cayenne, plus all the onion. If you don't spice the beef while it cooks your chili will be a bit bland.

While the beef is cooking, add the beans and tomato sauce to a large pot on low heat. Add more garlic, cayenne, black pepper, chili powder and also thyme. Cover and cook on low stirring occasionally.

Strain juice from beef into small bowl. Add beef and onions to beans, mix in well, cover and continue cooking on low for at least one hour stirring occasionally.


Serve as a big bowl of chili topped with lettuce shredded cheeses and/or sour cream or chili dogs with salad and oven fries or chili-cheese potatoes or corn chip pie or any combination rolled up in a warm tortilla. It freezes well so i make a large pot each time.

Use what you have. Onions can be fresh dried or onion powder. Tomato sauce can be sauce, paste or even tomato soup.

I often buy beef in 2.25 pound packages and divide each into 3 - 3/4 lb portions to freeze. 3/4 pound is plenty for any recipe that call for 1 pound of beef, in needed, I just add more vegetables to cover.

I always save bean juice for thickening in soups and stews or to add to steamed rice with spices etc..

I also always save the meat juices. I store it in the freezer marked with the date, what kind of meat ... beef, chicken, pork .... and whether it bland or spicy. I use it in many dishes, soups, stews, pot pies, try adding some for the liquid in steamed rice. I also use the bland juices for making cat and dog foods and for ill animals.


** amended to add something i forgot *o* the second most impotant ingredient - chili powder (or chili peppers). The first most important ingredient, for me, are the beans.

This is the first time I've written this recipe down. I just make them up as I go :)

Thank you Jj for reminding me !


Granny Sue said...

Now--add a big spoonful of cole slaw to your chili dog and you have a West Virginia hot dog. Um, um, good. I never heard of such a thing til I moved here. Try it sometime!

Jj Starwalker said...

My mom used to use canned tomatoes in her chili but after reading an article (in Playboy mag in the early 70s, of all places!) about chili cook-offs, which gave a recipe, too, I no longer consider tomato to be a chili ingredient.

My chili gets its color from the peppers and from chili powder ( which is, after all, ground chilies!) and no, it doesn't have to be deadly to be tasty! We had folks over for chili last week, who do not do "hot" and I made a tasty but not dangerous version with some of almost all of the fresh "hot" peppers from the local market (not including jalepenos). It was an experiment, as I was out of the large red (milder) and small red (hotter) dried peppers that I usually use. Worked well...

City Mouse said...

This is one of our favorite "usual" recipes - one of the ones we like so much we use it over and over again. I think that I might change a few things to try it your way, actually. Looks wonderful.

fly tie said...

i could use a bowl of (vegetarian) chili right now! just makes ya feel good. i make mine up as i go as well.