A Dinner For A Cold Night


Chili Simmering In My Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Outside my door, the winds are howling and snow along with sleet is falling – or blowing around if you prefer. It’s not terribly cold but in the wind, it feels quite bitter. The same sort of weather is supposed to continue for a couple of days, and when the weather is like that, I enjoy something substantial that will warm my insides.

Time for chili! I have no clue if I make mine like other people to do. I have to admit that I do like it spicy, but not so spicy that I cannot enjoy it. Too much spice burns my mouth, makes me sweat, and takes away from all the other tastes in the meal. So I do like it spicy, but not where the heat overwhelms everything else.

As you can see from the photo, I love my cast iron! This is simmering at the moment on my stove and when I finish this post, I will be having a big bowl. Over rice. That is another thing about chili in my house – I’ve just always had it over rice. It was the way my mom made it and I’ve just continued doing the same thing.

I don’t really have a recipe for it, but it all starts with about a pound of ground beef. Along with that pound of beef, there are some other standards like 2 cans, 28 fluid ounces each of diced tomatoes.  Of course there are kidney beans, but I also use black beans in addition to the kidney beans. I just like it that way. As well, I used dried beans to start with. And again, I don’t measure – it’s all done by approximate memory.

Tonights Chili Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Approx. 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Approx 2 teaspoons chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • Approx 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Black beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • A few dashes of Franks Red Hot Sauce (I just like the additional subtle flavour it adds)
  • 3 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Fresh tomato, diced (just because it was in the fridge and needed to be used)


First thing in the morning, soak kidney and black beans by bringing to a boil, then simmering for an hour. Turn off the heat and let them soak for at least another 8 hours.

Pour enough olive oil into dutch oven on stove burner and heat on medium heat. Add cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper, stirring well.

Add salt, chopped onion and minced garlic. Then add the ground beef (mine was frozen ground beef) and brown thoroughly.

Add the two cans of tomatoes. Strain some of the water off the black and kidney beans that have been soaking and then add to the dutch oven. Stir well.

Add a few dashes of Franks Hot Sauce, then the celery, green pepper and fresh diced tomato.

Simmer for a couple of hours.

Enjoy either on it’s own, or as I do, over rice.

For me, there is no “right” way to make chili.  I am never exact with the ingredients, except I always use a pound of beef and two cans of diced tomatoes.  As the chili is cooking, I will taste it, make adjustments, sometimes add a bit more salt, or chili powder. Sometimes, if I have mushrooms, I’ll throw in some of those too.  And it always tastes good! Of course, I always make way too much for me to eat by myself at one sitting, but that’s ok. I keep some for the next day, and freeze the rest of it for another day!

Do you have a favorite recipe for chili that you always follow completely?



One comment on “A Dinner For A Cold Night

  1. sylviadewy says:

    beef chilis in chilly nights are my all time favorite. I liked the extra zing and twist in this recipe. I am definitely going to keep this with my other beef recipes – http://www.knorr.com/article/detail/245675/top-beef-recipes Thanks for sharing

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