Country Living Series

Friday, December 21, 2012

End-of-the-world chili

On this, the first day of winter and (cough) the last day on earth...

...we celebrated by making an enormous pot of chili.

Don and Younger Daughter love chili. Older Daughter loathes it. I can take it or leave it, mostly take it. So with three out of four of us liking chili, I knew it would be an excellent addition to the pantry.

Don is the chili master in our house, so he hunted up a recipe that looked good and gave it a try.

He started with four pounds of dried beans -- two pounds each of pinto and navy.

He put them in a pot and filled it with water...

...and let them soak overnight.

The next day he drained the beans...

...and refilled the pot with fresh water.

He brought the beans to a boil on the stove...

...then set them on the woodstove to simmer for several hours...

...before draining them again.

This gave him about 11.5 lbs. of soaked beans.

So he defrosted five packages of ground beef (1.5 lbs each).

While the ground beef browned, he chopped a lot of onions.

Then to a larger pot he put the beans, ground beef, onions, tomatoes, and various spices.

And don't forget the chopped chilis!

A little bit of water...

...and a good mixing...

...and then he nested the post of chili in a larger pot, double-boiler style, to simmer gently all night long. By morning the chili was phenomenal. Don and Younger Daughter snitched bowls-full all day.

Now it was time to can it.

Scalded lids and gaskets, read to put on.

First batch in the canner. Since chili contains meat, I canned these for 75 minutes at 13 lbs. pressure (for our elevation). Actually I forgot and canned them for 90 minutes (necessary for quarts, not pints) but a few extra minutes in the canner certainly won't hurt.

End result: 23 pints of end-of-the-world chili.

I suppose we can bring this with us when we travel to a mountaintop in Mexico and wait for aliens to whisk us away or something.


  1. Looks great! I wish I had more time to do things like this. Between working full time and two little children, it makes it really tough. I love reading your blog and seeing the items you are able to put back. Someday, I hope to be able to do more of this as well!

  2. Wow. That's a lot of chili!
    I mostly don't like it, but I am trying to learn because beans are good for you, right?

    Merry Christmas to you all!

  3. Chili here in Central Indiana today also !! Love reading your blog !!

  4. Mmmm - I love chili.


  5. Patrice: What happened to your old blog format?? I do not like this one at all. Really enjoyed your old "face page" that changed periodically, plus all the photos were larger.

    1. ?? I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean -- as far as I can tell, my front page is the same as before. I rotate my front page photo periodically as always.

      However Blogger changed to a "new and improved" (yeah right) system about six weeks ago -- could that affect how you're seeing it? I'm not tech-savvy enough to know details, but if you give me some more info (including what device and/or system you're using to view this blog) then I'll post it and see if some tech-savvy readers have any ideas.

      Thanks for letting me know! I had no idea things might have changed from a reader perspective.

      - Patrice

    2. I too had a problem with the layout. On a tablet. But if they scowl to the bottom of the page there is a link that takes them to the web version.

    3. The difference is mobile or web versions.

  6. I think I'll make this .. but will give another name now (LOL)

  7. I was with you, right up until "and other spices". I HATE that on a recipe, especially when I am trying to copy it :) This happens on canned goods and "and other spices" is where the flavor usually is.

    So, PLEASE tell me what "and other spices" are so I can do this at home.

    Thanks! And Merry Christmas!

    1. Keep in mind, Don used larger quantities of spices because he made such a big pot-full, but here's what he used:

      3 cups chopped onions
      1 1/2 cups chopped green chili peppers
      3 cans tomatoes
      9 tablespoons chili powder (I think he added extra for a stronger taste)
      5 teaspoons black pepper
      6 teaspoons salt
      6 cups water

      Don also added a bit of vinegar and a bit of sugar, but he didn't measure those. Chili, like so many other dishes, can be modified to suit your personal taste. This recipe called for celery, for example, but we all hate celery so he didn't add it.

      Hope this helps!

      - Patrice

  8. I made meatballs in chili sauce. Now I have a name to call it. LOL End Of The World Meatballs. (I use the Carol Shelby seasoning in the little paper bag. It's perfect.)

  9. Off topic here, but....noticed when Don was chopping the onions, is he left-handed? I am left handed and I usually notice when someone else is because they really do look like they are backwards. My mom taught be to crochet by sitting right in front of me.

    1. Oh yeah.... we're both lefties. Yet we managed to hatch two right-handed kids, go figure. We're forever teasing the girls that things would be MUCH easier on them if only they'd use their LEFT hands!

      - Patrice

  10. wow that is alot of chili!! i make a couple pounds of ham and beans and that seems like a lot for me, but there is only 2people and a toddler in my house.

    so how much would you suggest for a smaller scale of chili in like a crock pot?
    wouldn't this be kind of like the refried beans, being to heavy or dense to can?

    wish I could can more, but as is I do what i can mostly in the summer early fall on a camp chef cooker, cause my electric stove doesn't work so well for the pressure canner.

    love the photos with your canning it makes it so much easier to follow & understand.


  11. so now that im reading this post again 3 years after i posted the last time. is this chili version really spicy with all the chili powder & green chilies & black pepper? or is it more of a milder taste?
    thanks again

    1. I'd say it's medium. You can up the heat with extra peppers and chili powder, or scale it back accordingly.

      - Patrice