When it comes to chili, I’m not picky, really. I’ve met very few chili recipes that I haven’t enjoyed.
I also know that chili recipes can be highly prized and contentious.
.Some feel it isn’t chili if it contains: or that it isn’t chili if it doesn’t contain . I’m just happy you share your chili recipes with me or have me over for chili. Either works.
The following no-tomato chili recipe is from my dear friend Sue Polinsky. The recipe originated from The Impoverished Student’s Cookbook with, as Sue puts it, “many significant embellishments by. . . [Sue]”
2022 update I’ve made this many times over the past 11 years and have added some measurements to help those that prefer not to cook by feel. Please remember these are just rough guidelines. Adjust the seasonings based on your preferences and tastes. We won’t be offended.
The original instructions were written by Sue Polinsky, but they have been updated by Heather as of 2022. The technique is Sue’s. I’ve added the printable card below (scroll just a little more to get to it).
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound stew beef (or use an additional pound of ground beef)
- 2 medium white onions, diced
- 8 garlic cloves, minced (you can use more)
- 2 pounds dried pinto beans that have been cooked
- 2 tablespoons black pepper (roughly)
- 5 ounces chili powder (roughly)
- 3 tablespoons cumin (roughly)
- 2 tablespoons oregano (roughly)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley (roughly)
- A scant amount of ground red pepper (a few shakes)
- approximately 1/2 cup, don't measure apple cider or white vinegar, see instructions
- salt to taste
- Begin browning your beef in a large pot over medium heat. If you use stew beef, keep that set aside until the ground meat has been drained.
- While the beef is browning, dice your onions, and mince your garlic
- Drain most of the fat, but not all, from the beef and discard it. You need some fat for flavor
- Add the stew beef, onions, and seasoning to the pot, and stir until the onions are translucent and the outside of the stew beef is no longer pink.
- You will rely on your sense of smell to determine the correct amount of vinegar to add. Get close to the beef without splattering yourself, and slowly pour vinegar into the pot, until you can just smell it.
- Stir until combined.
- Add your cooked beans to the pot using a slotted spoon. Leaving their cooking liquid behind. Once all of the beans have been transferred, stir again carefully to not mash the beans.
- Add just enough of the bean's liquid to your chili until it is slightly thinner than the consistency you prefer.
- Taste and adjust your seasonings, adding salt if necessary. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 2 - 3 hours to allow the flavors to develop.
You will need a heavy-bottomed pot, at least 6 quarts in size.
Garnish with your favorite chili toppings:
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
Like this recipe? Save it on Pinterest, please.
Like chili flavor? Try these recipes:
*Chili Powder Photo Credit: Sue Polinsky