Let's talk about Chili...


Let’s talk Chili…and recipes.

How about a recipe for a hearty pot of western chili, a staple of the old west and the culinary quest of many modern day cook-offs? Western Chili dates back to the cattle drives of the old west, where chuckwagon food was comprised of lots of beef and beans, along with biscuits and coffee.

A bit of trivia: Who invented the chuckwagon—the cowboy's portable kitchen used on the cattle trails?

Charles Goodnight in 1866.

Goodnight, a former Texas Ranger, owned the first cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle and became involved with Oliver Loving in the herding of cattle north to the railroads. To feed the cowboys on the cattle drive, Goodnight outfitted an army wagon with a cupboard that had compartments for cook pans and utensils and a fold-down door to use as a work table.

Below is my recipe for Chili. Hope you enjoy!


3 tablespoons oil

1/2 onion, diced

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans

1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans

1 (15 oz.) can pork and beans

1 cup corn (optional)

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 small (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, breaking ground beef apart into crumbles until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.

Add beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the spices. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.


"That doesn’t surprise me." If the man smiled once in a while maybe he wouldn’t have to wrangle lunch dates. "You know I didn't invite you. You tricked me."

He turned the key, slipped the truck into gear, and backed out onto the road leading from the ranch. "I have an errand in town. Remembered it earlier when I smelled the stink of chili down near the cookhouse. I can’t stomach Calvin’s chili."

"So I'm a step above nausea."

He smiled.

#chili #chuckwagon #food #cookoff #cattledrive

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