• Olive Oil
  • 3-4 lbs ground beef or meatloaf mix (Purists get whole cuts and dice
  • the meat but I don’t think it tastes any better that way)
  • One large onion, chopped
  • One large can of crushed tomatoes
  • Tbsp basil
  • Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed or put through press
  • Chili powder to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • 3-4 cans chopped green chilis (Old El Paso)
  • 4x15oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained (or 2 cans kidney beans and 2 cans black beans, drained)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Juice from jalapeno jar to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large heavy pot brown meat in olive oil until no pink left. Add onion, garlic and tomatoes and stir well. Add chilis. Add herbs and stir. Add about a tbsp chili powder and cumin. Cook on medium heat for about a half hour and taste the seasoning. Add more chili powder and a bit of cayenne. Cook another half hour, taste again. Add more seasonings if needed. Cook stirring occasionally until thick and rich looking. About 2-3 hours. Once it is thick add the drained beans and salt and pepper if needed. Add cayenne carefully and jalapeno juice carefully too.

All this can be adjusted and tweaked to make it taste the way you like it. Gradual seasoning and a long slow cooking are key to making it taste really good. Once it is good and hot lower the heat and just let it simmer. If it boils too hard it will stick to the bottom and burn. The Adobe seasoning from Penzey’s works well if you don’t want to use the invidual herbs. Don’t be shy with the chili powder. You can double this if feeding a crowd.

Serving suggestions

Serve with tortillas fried in corn oil, grated Monterey Jack, sour cream, chopped iceberg lettuce, and jalapenos as toppings

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