Poor Man’s Chili

Poor Man's Chili

With the cold weather approaching (for some, it’s already here), what’s more perfect to enjoy at the end of a long day than a comforting bowl of homemade chili? I’ll tell you what: chili that didn’t cost an arm and a leg!

Let me preface this by saying this was called Poor Man’s Chili before the price of hamburger involved donating an organ at the checkout stand. Since I’m hoping, rather praying, that the price of beef will drop back down sometime in the next decade or so, I’m keeping the name.

A full recipe will yield approximately 8-10 servings, so cut in half if needed or freeze your leftovers! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

williams chili seasoning mix
Image obtained from http://www.williamsfoods.com/products/original-2-oz-chili-seasoning-mix/
Image obtained from http://notmessyjustbusy.blogspot.com/2013/09/baked-beans-recipe.html
Image obtained from http://notmessyjustbusy.blogspot.com/2013/09/baked-beans-recipe.html
  • 2 lbs hamburger
  • 1 small to medium sized red onion, diced
  • ketchup (1/4 cup +)
  • mustard (3 TBSP +)
  • 1 – 28oz can of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans (or 2 15oz cans)
  • 1 packet Williams Chili Seasoning Mix (for 2lbs of meat)
  • salt & pepper; to taste
  1. Put diced onion and hamburger in large skillet. Add salt & pepper as desired, and brown meat.
  2. In large pot, add hamburger and onion, pork and beans, ketchup, mustard and 1/2 of the chili seasoning packet; stir well until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Here’s the trick to get it just right: If it’s too sweet, add a tiny bit more of mustard. If it’s too tart, add a tiny bit more of ketchup. If it’s not as spicy as you’d like, add a bit more chili seasoning. NOTE: It will get spicier the longer it cooks! Do take this into account as you add more seasoning.
  4. Simmer on low, covered, for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Now, you may think I’m an absolute lunatic with this last step, and that’s okay. I would, too if I were you! Normally, I’m one of those people that doesn’t add anything to food (no sauce, no ketchup, etc) because I believe it takes away from the magnificence of the dish itself. However, when I had this as a kid, I couldn’t handle the slightest bit of spice. So, I improvised. And now, all these years later, I can’t have my chili without adding this last step because it just isn’t the same to me. Add if you’d like. Just know it will change the flavor a bit and tone down the spice. But, it’s still AMAZING!

To make it like I do, simply add this step after it’s finished simmering for 2 hours and is already in your bowl:

Pour in milk – small amounts at a time – and crush saltine crackers into the chili to bring the thick consistency back. Do this until you’ve reached the exact flavor you desire. Enjoy!

I’ll be back with a recipe next week for my husband’s favorite chili. And if spicy is what you’re looking for, his recipe is what you want!

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