Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chili with Character ~ No Beans or Beans and Tailgates!

Football season is here and that means need some chili with character!  With terrific seasoning and coarsely chopped vegetables, this chili is full of character and the best I've ever had!  I've adapted this recipe from one introduced to me by my daughter a while back.  (She has a propensity for recognizing a good recipe when she sees one!)  I've cut the original recipe in half for family meals; but if you want to make it for a tailgate or large crowd, just double it.

My family is accustomed to an all-beef chili, so I didn't use beans or sausage.  However, if you would like to add Italian sausage or chili beans, just check out the original recipe:  Boilermaker Tailgate Chili I also exchanged the green chile peppers (click here for the different varieties and heat of green chile peppers) for jalapeno, which gives the chili just enough bite for most people without being too spicy.  In other words, you can just make this chili your own!  (Keep it easy and use your food processor for the vegetables.) 

Prepare the chili on the weekend, and you can enjoy it throughout the week for lunch or dinner. You could double the recipe for a tailgate, or double and freeze half of it for another family meal later!  For even more fun, add my Dixie Girl Makes Yankee Cornbread (which freezes well also)!

                                           I'll Just Sneak A Little...
                                         Before That Tailgate!
Serves 6

  • 1 lb. ground beef chuck (or lean ground beef--chuck will offer the most flavor)
  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can premium diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 oz. (1/2 of a 6 oz. can) premium tomato paste (hint: freeze by the TB leftover tomato paste)
  • 2 stalks celery, cleaned & coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cleaned, cored, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cleaned, cored, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, cleaned, cored, seeded & minced
  • 1/2 TB bacon bits
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/4 c. beer
  • 1/8 c. chili powder
  • 1/2 TB Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 TB dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™ sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Suggested Garnishes and Sides

  1. Over medium-high heat, in a 4 qt. or larger stock pot, brown the ground beef with the onion, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon as you go.  Drain any excess grease. (With the lean ground beef, if there's any fat at all, you may want to keep it for flavor.)
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Add the celery, green and red bell peppers, jalapeno, bacon bits, bouillon and beer.  Season with the remaining ingredients.  Stir to blend, cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  
  3. Adjust the salt, pepper and chili powder to taste (I like the recipe just as it is!).  The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste.  Enjoy hot...refrigerate leftovers; freezes well.
When you're not tailgating, do you let everyone just dish their chili from the stove, or dish it for them in bowls?  Or do you place it on the table, or serve it on a buffet?  However you serve your chili, everyone will have fun choosing their favorite goodies from garnishes and sides served in individual dishes. (A lazy susan would be nice for this.)

By the way, do you enjoy your chili on nachos, a salad, a hot dog, or a baked potato?  Or like me:  Just give me a big bowl of chili...

                                              With All The Goodies...
                                            And I'm A Happy Chick!

Printable Recipe


  1. Chili is the perfect tailgate food,ever!
    Gorgeous photo- now I'm craving chili:-)
    Pinned and thanks for sharing your recipe:-)

    1. Thank you Patty! Your photo comment truly means a lot...I'm still trying to make the most of all I have right now, which is a point and shoot. (Plus, I battle terrible inside lighting!) Thanks for the pin too!

  2. According to die hard chili heads..'real' chili doesn't have beans..and although I like beans, I do prefer my chili with lots of meay and yours! I love it!!

    1. Ohhh thanks, Lisa...I know those chili experts don't like beans. It's just that we typically don't eat beans in our family; however, one day I hope to post a white chicken chili a friend of mine has shared with me several times, and I'm crazy about it. I like a little heat in my chili too (probably because it gives me an excuse to add all those garnishes to calm it down)! I'm glad you love my chili...cause I love you, girl!

  3. Hi Bonnie, This recipe looks so yummy!
    We love meaty chile with a kick. I don't like beans, but hubby loves them.(I give him beenie weenies once in a while) I am so cruel...This is on my must cook list.

  4. Hey Regina, That's so funny that you give your husband beenie weenies it brings out the boy in him!

  5. Bonnie, this looks like one incredible, flavorful chili! My oldest was a "Boilermaker" so I'll have to make this one night when he joins us for dinner...he'll get a kick out of both the name and taste. No beans or sausage needed for us either :)

  6. Yummy! This sounds and looks fantastic Bonnie! I have always used beans, but am going to have to give your recipe a try!

  7. Bonnie, this chili sounds like a great dish for cool fall and cold winter! Love all the spices in the recipe, there are lots of yummy flavors and great textures. I will be serving it with some good crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce... Not too greedy :D