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Chiliborder

Just seeing a chili commercial on TV makes me dream of a cold evening and me all nestled and warm inside with a nice, warm bowl of fresh-off-the-stove chili–ah, heaven on earth!

If you like good eating but also want easy fixing, the chili recipe below may be one recipe that fits the bill.  

It is versatile to whatever taste preferences you have, and also as easy as dumping a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting them simmer for awhile.

Some people say, “But it’s only good if it is made from scratch and all the ingredients are, too, or else fresh and home-grown.”  

Well, I don’t have time for that.  Or else I’m super lazy and don’t want to make time for that.  Either way a person wants to look at it, I like a few recipes I can make in a short time, for the times I am strapped for time.  The longest step to this chili, for instance, is the simmering it does at the end, and that is not something I have to stand over and watch while getting nothing else done.

During my recent recuperation from pneumonia, after I got to the point I wasn’t contagious, an event came up that City Boy and I had previously signed-up for and forgotten about: a chili cook-off at church.  I had no desire that day to make chili nor did I feel like it.  But we were committed, so I stumbled into the kitchen and threw this together, just so I could have something to send.  Only five people had signed-up, so I wanted to have a pot of chili there just to take up space on the table.  

Frank came home and said there had been around 30 pots of chili there, and that ours had won 2ND PLACE! I hadn’t even thought of placing, so that was a very pleasant surprise!  

So anyway, here’s the super-easy pictorial method and then the recipe for Hillbilly Chili:

Except for the ground chuck or beef, here are all the ingredients–yes, convenience cooking at its finest!

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Usually I buy green peppers and dice them so I can put them in small freezer bags and freeze them; they are ready for whenever I need them, and cook well from a frozen state.  This particular day all I had was a whole green pepper in the refrigerator, so I used that, and since it was a large one I only used half of it.  

I sprayed Grandmother’s old pot with cooking spray on the bottom and up the sides, and threw the pepper and ground beef in and sauteed them together.

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While the ground chuck was browning, I sliced the smoked sausage into fairly thin slices.

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Once you’ve drained the beef/pepper mixture, return to pot and then just start throwing in ingredients, mixing as you go:

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The corn goes in undrained;

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Some people like chili that is more like stew in consistency, while others prefer it thick enough to eat with a fork.  Add water according to how you like your chili, and allow it to simmer for at least 15 minutes and as long as you like it to meld the flavors together.

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There is no picture of the finished product because City Boy grabbed it off the stove and ran it to the church, but it looked really good!  Apparently it didn’t taste bad, either!

Next time a chilly Fall evening comes along and a piping hot bowl of chili sounds nice, whip this up with a pan of Jiffy cornbread, relax, and enjoy your evening!

Hillbilly  Chili

2 lbs ground chuck or beef

1 med or 1/2 lg green pepper, diced

2 cans chili beans

1 lb pkg polish kielbasa or smoked sausage

1 can whole kernel corn, undrained

2 pkgs mild chili seasoning (you can use regular, or one of each, if preferred)

1-2 tbs cocoa powder

2-3 tbs real bacon bits

3 oz pkg french fried onions

Water to reach desired consistency 

Brown meat in large pot along with the diced green pepper.  Drain.  

Add remaining ingredients to pot, stirring as you go.

Simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 1/2 hour.

Serve with cornbread, crackers, or corn chips.

Serves 6-8.