Chili – My Mom’s Version

Mom's Chili

Mom’s Chili

Today would be my Mother’s birthday. Every time I prepare something she used to make, I feel like I am honoring her a little. I had friends over for dinner the other night for chili and cornbread. Everybody loved it. One of my friends said it tasted like her Mother’s chili, too.

I love chili and make all sorts of variations, but I crave this simple version my Mother used to make. It was one of my favorite dishes when I was a kid. She’d often make cornbread to have with it.  I admit to spicing it up more now, often adding a good shot of hot sauce, but it is still the same dish I remember so fondly.

I always think about the book Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier when I think about Mom’s chili. It was a really cold, rainy day, and I was stuck inside. I’d lost myself in the book and was totally engrossed when she called me to dinner. I think chili was about the only thing that would have pulled me away from that book.

Miss you Mom. Love you.

Mom’s Chili

1 large onion, chopped


3 lbs. coarsely ground beef

3 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes – I used 3 quarts of home canned tomatoes

2 cans (about 15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 T. minced garlic

¼- ½ c. chili powder, or more to suit your taste

2 t. cumin

½ t. cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot pepper sauce to taste

In Dutch oven or soup pot sauté onion in oil until tender. Add meat and cook until no pink is visible. Drain off excess fat. Add tomatoes, beans, garlic and chili powder to taste, cumin and cinnamon. Cover and simmer over low heat until flavors blend, at least 30 minutes. Longer cooking is even better. I often transfer the chili to the crock pot for a couple of hours. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 4-6.

Can be eaten as is- or top with shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

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