The recipe for this hearty 3-bean beef chili was originally published in the Greenwood Daily Journal on Saturday, October 22, 2001
You would think that when you buy a house that sits under a few acres of trees that you understand the gravity of that situation. The situation being that from Mid-September through November you will spend every waking moment raking.
Well, not that dramatic but we do rake a lot. Several nights a week and every weekend we split our property into zones and rake, burn and repeat. If only we could just mulch it all with the tractor or bag it up, wouldn’t that be great. I always love it when I get that suggestion, like that would ever work.
Our property is not flat, either. Hilly and partially in the woods what is actually a beautiful area becomes the bane of my existence in the fall. I know my husband is reading this right now and laughing, but I do my fair share of the chore. It takes a small village to clear this all out.
Sure, I love the sight of the changing leaves and how the light plays on the branches. I enjoy the kaleidoscope of colors that autumn brings. But when I think that for every beautiful falling leaf that I see there are hundreds more falling that I don’t then I cease to enjoy it.
All of our neighbors clear their yards more often than we do. We no sooner spend 10 hours on a Saturday clearing, burning and mulching to wake up to find it is all back the next day. If that is not a downer, then I don’t know what is! The worst if after we have spend a weekend working, trimming branches, clearing flower beads to come home to so many leaves that we can’t see the driveway.
We always try enlist the help of friends and family this time of year. The conversation usually goes like this: “Mom and Dad, would you like to come up this Saturday? Make sure to wear old clothes. Did I mention that I am making dinner, too?” Or ” Dear brother, if you don’t have plans this weekend would you mind staying with us, I will make a killer breakfast!” His response “You need help raking, don’t you!” Foiled again.
So yes, I bribe my family with warm dinners and hot cups of coffee while they work. Sometimes I even make pumpkin muffins and if we are really making progress we have S’mores. I also make sure we have the nice rakes, I mean the ones with the ergonomic padded handles. Nothing but the best for my hired hands!
So when I know we have a busy weekend coming up and I want to ‘entertain’ guests I whip up a huge post of this hearty beef chili. I let it cook all day and then bring it outside with all of the accompaniments and we chow down. It’s amazing what a day of yard work does for your appetite.
I make chili often but I never seem to make it the same way twice. I experiment with flavors, the spice level and different meats. I know that every home cook seems to have their own ‘secret’ recipe. Mine is not a secret but it is somewhat of a mystery. It seems I never measure the ingredients and I have never written it down. So this time I was careful to make note of it all just to be sure.
So next time we have a nice warm weekend and I invite you over with the caveat that you wear old clothes, it would be safe to assume that you will be put to work. I will feed you well, though!
This beef chili recipe has 3 types of beans, so it’s full of fiber and flavor.
I served the beef chili over cooked penne pasta for my kids, but I prefer a handful of tortilla chips, a slice of lime and a dollop of sour cream on mine.
What are your favorite chili toppings? Leave me a comment!