Grandpa’s Beef Chili

Chili was always special around our house when we were boys. My mom would make a huge pot and simmer it all day on the stove. She used real tomatoes, tomato paste, beef and beans and lots of spices. She would serve it in big bowls tipped with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. And we just kept coming back for more till the pot was empty.

Lots of moving parts for this recipe but in the end it is just a stew/soup with lots of room to humor your own tastes, likes and dislikes without losing the dish. As always, it is better to start with all the ingredients organized, measured and ready to go.







2 lbs of ground beef
1 Tbs good olive oil
1 bag pinto. black or nothern beans, washed and soaked overnight
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup sliced jalapeños or Serrano peppers
1 4oz can diced green chilis
2 Tbs white sugar
1 pablano pepper, washed, seeded and rough chopped.
1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and rough chopped
1 sweet yellow onion rough chopped
1 12oz bottle of good beer
1 tsp Trader Joes’ Chili and Lime Seasoning
1 Tbs oregano
2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs Liquid Smoke
1 Tbs of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbs hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholulo sauce)
1 Tbs yellow mustard
2 Tbs chili powder
1 12 oz can of V8
Salt and Pepper to taste.


  1. Heat oil in a large pot till simmering. Add onions, Pablano, red bell pepper and garlic stirring until onions are clear. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, break up and brown.
  2. Mix in catsup, tomatoes, jalapeños. green chilies, sugar, chili and lime seasoning, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mustard, liquid smole and chili powder.
  3. Add beans, beer and V8.
  4. Bring pot to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer stirring occasionally until beans are soft. It will take some time (1.5-2 hours) for the beans to soften so you may need to add water from time to time.

Serve in bowls with grated cheddar sprinkled on top and a dollop of sour cream. Oh baby!